The Clock House

clock house fred clappertonThe Clock House, Ripley

Changing the name of her award-winning restaurant, rebuilding and motivating a depleted brigade and restoring a business to its former glory after the departure of your business partner are pretty mammoth tasks.  But they are ones whichclock house plate a owner Serina Drake took on at The Clock House – and in so doing has rapidly made her mark on the Surrey food scene.  Formerly known as Drake’s, this elegant restaurant held a Michelin star and three AA Rosettes for many years. Within weeks of Serina appointing a new head chef, the AA reinstated the three Rosettes and within a year of changing the name, Michelin had reinstated its star.

This imposing Georgian building is set back from the High Street in this pretty village.  The décor is a clever mix of contemporary and classic and the stylish wood panelled bar is a cosy place for cocktails.  There is a gorgeous walled garden with terrace for drinks, weather permitting.

Fred Clapperton

clock house plate bHead chef Fred Clapperton, aged 29, joined the brigade at what was then Drake’s, in 2012 as demi chef de partie on pastry.  Swiftly making his mark, he moved through all the different sections and positions, to be appointed head chef in September 2016.

After spending much of his childhood in Nottinghamshire, Fred worked at a number of different establishments.  These included Bibury Court in the Cotswolds, at the time under the same ownership as Shipton Mill, which gave him the opportunity to learn about different breads, a skill which is much in evidence at The Clock House today.clock house plate c

His passion for creativity and design, alongside his attention to detail and keenness always to use the finest quality, seasonal produce sourced within the UK, has garnered rave reviews.  His food, served by a friendly and professional front of house team led by restaurant manager Joseph, has enabled The Clock House to retain existing customers and attract a new clientele.

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The Bybrook at The Manor House

Since joining The Bybrook restaurant as Executive Chef, Rob Potter has been awarded a Michelin star for 2017 and retained his star for 2018. Robert brings with him over 15 years’ experience having worked at a number of critically acclaimed hotels and restaurants across the UK including Lucknam Park.


Growing up in the West Midlands, Robert knew from a young age he’d one day have a career in the kitchen. Robert was quick to take his skills in to the work place, and after college, secured a position as Commis Chef at The Bay Tree in Birmingham, under Michelin starred Head Chef Andy Waters, one of Rob’s most influential peers to this day.

the manor rhubarbPotter went on to work as Head chef at Dominic Chapman at The Royal Oak Paley Street, where he had the opportunity to develop his technique, and preferred style of cooking; as a true advocate for seasonal, locally sourced produce, Robert has a passion for serving fresh dishes, simply presented yet technically prepared. Potter furthered his culinary skills whilst working under Executive Chef Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park, a fine dining establishment working to the high standard deserving of a Michelin star.the manor seabass

Potter says of The Bybrook Restaurant there is “a dedicated focus to serving seasonal and classical food combinations” and his aim is “to create a relaxed fine-dining menu influenced by the seasons as well as being dictated by the beautiful British produce harvested from within the grounds of The Manor House.’’ He will serve the finest seasonal produce possible and prepare it with flare and distinctive flavours.

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The Walnut Tree Inn – Chef Patron: Shaun Hill

The Walnut Tree Inn, Abergavenny

The Walnut Tree Inn, Abergavenny

“Shaun Hill is one of Britain’s most enduringly successful Michelin awarded chefs. He began his career in 1966, working for Robert Carrier in his Islington restaurant. He went on to work in some of London’s most prestigious addresses including The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge with Brian Turner and Blakes in South Kensington.

He won a Michelin star for Gidleigh Park in Devon where he was a key player in the Modern British food movement of the late 80’s that fused local, seasonal produce with global influences.

The Merchant House, his much missed 24 seat Michelin-starred restaurant in Ludlow was hailed as the 14th best in the world and turned the Shropshire market town into a gastronomic destination. In his review, Times critic Jonathan Meades called Hill ‘a truly great chef’. His decade there from 1994 to 2005 will be remembered fondly by anyone who was lucky enough to have eaten outstanding dishes like calf’s sweetbreads with potato and olive cake that were cooked personally by Hill, the sole member of the kitchen brigade.

He currently holds a Michelin star at The Walnut Tree where he was a regular customer when it was run by Franco Taruschio. The restaurant fell on hard times after Taruschio sold up in 2001, only recovering walnut tree indoorswhen Hill took the reins in 2008.

Along the way, he’s forged a unique style with a string of timeless dishes including scallops with lentil and coriander sauce that are as distinctive and delicious now as the day he created them.

Hill shows no sign of slowing up and still ‘shakes the pans’ (Hill’s typically self deprecating term for the job of the professional chef) at The Walnut Tree. Hill is as accomplished a food writer as he is a cook and ‘How to Cook Better’ and ‘Cooking at The Merchant House’ are modern classics”.


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The Royal Oak, Paley Street

The Royal Oak retains its Michelin Star and three AA Rosettes under Craig Johnston, Head Chef, who worked his way up through the ranks including reaching the Final of the first ever Chef Stagiaire Award in 2014.

royal oakDescribed simply as ‘British food cooked to perfection’, they select the best seasonal produce, sourced locally whenever possible but we’re not afraid to go further afield to assure the quality.

The aim is that each customer who dines at The Royal Oak has the opportunity to embrace the satisfying flavours and visual innovation of each dish. Close your eyes and taste the flavours; they have not been lost in over complicated cooking methods. They have not been compromised by unnecessary ingredients  … Open your eyes and experience the vibrancy of the seasonal produce kept true to form.

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Matt Worswick at Latymer, Pennyhill Park

Stage at the famous Latymer in the grounds of the beautiful Pennyhill Park. Pennyhill Park Hotel is a exquisite 19th-century five star country house hotel and spa in Bagshot, Surrey in the south east of England.

Head Chef Matt Worswick spent many summers with his grandmother on The Isle of Man, Matt saw, first hand, the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables, and her ‘waste not, want not’ philosophy has stuck firm as an ethos he follows to this day.

A familiar face to foodie television viewers, Matt has appeared on BBC1’s MasterChefs: The Professionals in 2010 and most recently BBC2’s Great British Menu in 2015.

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lortolan picL’Ortolan, located in the beautiful village of Shinfield, is Reading’s only Michelin starred restaurant. Head Chef Tom Clarke is passionate about his cooking, and ensures that the same quality of interpretation extends right through the whole of the L’Ortolan experience. The L’Ortolan team work hard to ensure that passion is as integral to the wine selection, the service and the style of the environment as it is to Tom’s food.

In addition to the main restaurant, L’Ortolan has three private dining rooms for you to choose from, each with their own unique style. For larger parties the Main Restaurantlortolan cuisine and Glass Room are available together on an exclusive use basis.

With its magical atmosphere and beautiful location L’Ortolan is the perfect choice for every dining experience from a relaxed lunch to celebrating a special occasion.

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