French chef Pascal Proyart has become chef consultant at West Sussex restaurant The Leconfield, playing a key role in emphasising local produce and ingredients on a new set of menus for the autumn.
In addition to his role at Knightsbridge fish site One O One, where he has worked for 18 years, Proyart has been collaborating with head chef David Lewis, bringing his experience and penchant for locally-sourced ingredients to help refashion the Leconfield menus.
New produce will come from around the restaurant's base of market town Petworth, including beef and lamb from the Goodwood Estate, pork from Storrington, fish from the Sussex coast, cheese from around the county, as well as fruit and veg from the surrounding area.
Proyart has also said he is especially excited about using game birds and venison, shot in the South Downs. The restaurant also plans to add to its extensive wine list with a sparkling English wine produced at the Sussex-based Wiston Estate, just a few miles from Petworth.
Located in Petworth village, the 90-cover Leconfield has many different options for diners, including an informal dining room and bar, which open on to an orangery and courtyard; an upstairs dining room with an open fire; a lounge; and two private dining rooms, one of which can seat up to 30 people.
Brittany-born Proyart comes from a family of restaurateurs and has a reputation for cooking fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, especially fish. After training in France, he did two years' military service in Africa, before spending ten years working in kitchens across Europe, including at two-star Michelin restaurants Sea Grill in Brussels and Le Divellec in Paris. He is known for his love of using sustainable ingredients.
For his part, Leconfield head chef David Lewis has worked his way up through the ranks, having started as a junior sous-chef via two-AA rosette The Crab at Chieveley and Harts in Nottingham, becoming sous chef at The Bull Hotel, Dorset, which particularly championed local suppliers and seasonal fare.
After joining The Leconfield as a senior sous chef in 2011, Lewis had a major hand in the restaurant's original menus soon after it opened, before being appointed head chef in January 2012.