Chef Brett Sutton and his wife Kelly are to open their new West Country pub-restaurant with rooms this evening, after finishing a renovation on the site.
The White Post sits on the border between Dorset and Somerset, near Adber and Rimpton, and will serve local ales and ciders, as well as a menu focusing on traditional pub food. It seats around 25-30 in the bar and 50 in the restaurant. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Tonight and tomorrow will act a soft opening, and the doors officially open to the public this Saturday night. He has three chefs plus himself in the kitchen, and three front-of-house plus his wife in the front.
With an established career as a chef, Sutton is especially known for his use of locally sourced ingredients, homemade produce and foraging.
Typical dishes will include sea bass with Poole brown crab risotto, pork belly with Lyme bay scallop, and pork fillet with black pudding, as well as pub classics such as local sausages, mustard mash and homemade baked beans, rib-eye steak and dripping-cooked chips and Sunday roasts, as well as desserts such as sticky toffee pudding.
Speaking about the opening, Sutton told Caterer and Hotelkeeper: "Twenty-three years of working for other people and then doing it yourself is definitely a change of path, but it's something that I've wanted to do for a long time."
He said that his wife was instrumental in his opening the site. "I've had huge support from my wife to go and do it. She's my rock," he said.
Sutton was previously executive chef at the Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne for eight years, for which he won the Taste of the West's 'Best Restaurant' award and the regional Best Eating Out Experience award, among others.
For the three years until 2003 he also worked at Holbrook House in Somerset, and then as head chef at Summer Lodge in Dorset - albeit for just one week, amid alleged disagreements over the menu.
Sutton has also since been a judge for the Taste of Dorset Awards, the Taste of the West Awards, the World Cheese Awards and an arbitrary and supreme judge for the Guild of Fine Food's national Great Taste Awards. He also cooked a Jubilee dinner for the Queen during her visit to Sherborne.
He has also been a finalist in the Roux Scholarship three times and was twice a runner-up.
His restaurant opening joins a crop of restaurants from top chefs in Dorset, including the Michelin-starred Sienna by Russell Brown, and the soon-to-open Mat Follas at the Casterbridge in Dorchester.