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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