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Michelin-starred Goose closes after row between chefs and owner

08 February 2010 by

The Michelin-starred Goose in Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire, has been forced to close, Caterersearch can reveal.

The move comes following the resignation of executive chef Ryan Simpson and his team after a disagreement with the restaurant owner, property entrepreneur Paul Castle.

The Goose, which regained its Michelin star this year, closed over the weekend after Simpson and four other members of staff left unexpectedly. The chef told Caterersearch the team resigned last Saturday (6 February) after proprietor Castle announced a major change in direction for the business.

"Paul Castle wanted to change the direction of the operation and as a result all of the five permanent members of staff at the restaurant, including chefs and waiters, walked out," Simpson said.

"Castle told staff that the restaurant was losing money and that despite the team having won a Michelin star last month, the food was too poncy. He wanted the Goose to go back to basic pub grub, burgers and chips that sort of thing, and this in addition to the ongoing methods of how the business was being run was the final straw for us."

A spokesman for Castle confirmed that due to a disagreement Simpson and his team had left unexpectedly forcing the Goose to close.

"Due to a disagreement between Ryan and the owner of the Goose, Paul Castle, regarding the operations of the business, Ryan chose to resign his position unexpectedly as executive chef," he said.

"Ryan asked the other staff members from the kitchen to resign too, as a result of which, the Goose has been forced to close. It will undergo a refurbishment and reopen on 1 March. It will be run by Castle as a gastro pub in an identical manner to when it originally won a Michelin star in 2005]."

The Goose first gained a Michelin-star in 2005 under head chef Michael North, who left the restaurant in 2006 to set up his own business. He was replaced by former Roux Scholar Matthew Tomkinson, who regained the star in 2008 and left later that year to join the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu.

Simpson, who was named the Good Food Guide's up-and-coming chef last year, joined the Goose in June 2008. He told Caterer that following his departure he was now looking to potentially set up his own business with the help of investors.
England gains 13 new Michelin stars >>

Roux Scholar Matthew Tomkinson to join Montagu Arms >>

Michael North leaves Goose to start new business >>

By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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