Page 21 - Enjoy the South 2016
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the hotel in his 24-year tenure, during which both Jean- Christophe Novelli and James Martin worked under the French chef.
It would seem that the staff roll call itself, has bred a who’s who of the hospitality business – enter Robin Hutson in 1986 who has subsequently built two hotel empires, Hotel du Vin and The Pig groups. Gerard Basset was headhunted by Robin to become the Chewton Glen’s very first sommelier and has since acquired more wine qualifications and awards than any other sommelier in the world! And it was Gerard that proposed the double- baked Emmental soufflé as a signature dish from the
80s – and we concur – in fact a signature dish in the 90s, noughties, and now!
The 90s brought a recession – so let’s invest in a spa and the best tennis facility in the country! The hotel achieved a five-star rating and Martin, Hotelier of the Year. Luke Matthews joined Pierre’s team and is today taking the hotel’s menu to new heights.
In 2001, the hotel took the shape that we recognise today, when Andrew Stembridge became managing director. He oversaw the sale of the hotel from the Skan family and has captained the changes in terms of the TreeHouses, the kitchen gardens, and as those of you will notice at the top of the drive, a new development – the Kitchen at Chewton Glen – an autonomous venture in terms of operation if not incorporation, a cookery school of twelve stations overseen by chef and TV presenter James Martin, a Chewton Glen alumnus, James and
his little black book of the country’s best chefs, who
will create a rolling roster of bespoke and stimulating courses and demonstrations. The Kitchen will also feature an informal restaurant and a new dining proposition – casual, chef’s table banquette style day-to-day dining. How exciting.
I have had the pleasure of experiencing the hotel for three of the five decades that make up this wonderful anniversary and have been literally privileged to enjoy every aspect of the exquisite facilities, as so many from around the world have done. There’s one thing for sure and one thing that stays the same at the Chewton Glen and that’s change – pioneering change. 01425 282212

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