Acorn winners 2017: Gordon Stott
Landlord and head chef, the Sun Inn, Dummer, Hampshire
Nominated by Suzanne Woolley, front of house manager, the Sun Inn
Proudest moment "There have been many, but being asked to take over as head chef and landlord of the Sun Inn at the age of 20 was an incredible moment, and last year receiving the Bib Gourmand in the 2017 Michelin Guide and two AA rosettes was a real buzz."
Greatest inspiration "Professionally speaking, my greatest inspiration is Tom Kerridge, being the only gastropub chef with two Michelin stars. I'd love to achieve this at one of my pubs."
Ambition "My main ambition is to gain a Michelin star at a gastropub, to be recognised throughout England as a respected and reputable chef among chefs, and maybe open a casual and accessible fine-dining restaurant."
Gordon Stott trained at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy in Woking, Surrey, and held positions at the Halfway Inn, Hungerford, the Vineyard at Stockcross and the Carnarvon Arms in Newbury, before joining the Sun Inn in Dummer, Hampshire, as sous chef. He took over the pub as landlord and head chef in 2012, when he was barely out of his teens.
Five years on, Stott has grown revenue by 320% and now boasts staff retention figures of 75%. The two-AA-rosette pub was also awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2017 Michelin Guide.
He works hand in hand with Basingstoke College of Technology to employ college-leavers and provide work experience placements, and he launched a MasterChef-style competition with NVQ catering students at the college in 2015, raising more than £500 for homeless charity the Society of St James in year one and over £1,300 for the Ark Cancer Treatment Centre in year two.
He's also a rising star in the awards arena and has been shortlisted for more than 10 national and regional awards in the past two years, winning Gastro Pub of the Year at the 2016 Food Awards England. And now he can add an Acorn Award to his trophy table.