Award Double for Suffolk’s The Bildeston Crown
19 September 2007
The Bildeston Crown enters the pages of The Good Food Guide, for the first year, with great style. The 2008 edition of the independent restaurant bible, published on 20th September, not only lists The Bildeston Crown as one of only 22 highlighted food venues to visit in Suffolk but also names Chris Lee (32) as joint winner of the Up-and-coming chefs award for the whole country.
Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor, The Good Food Guide, says of the winner: “Chris Lee is an ambitious, self-taught chef. His ‘intricate cuisine gastronomique’ is definitely showy, but backed up by sound technique. Subtle flavours, complementary textures and dish combinations are analytically thought out.”
With a cooking score of 5/10, Chris achieves the highest results in all of Suffolk and equals the score of many top London restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at Claridges. The scoring is based on consumer feedback and anonymous inspections. Key to Chris’ success is his great passion for food and his focus on using the very best in local ingredients. Whether you are eating the Char Grilled Rib of Suffolk Beef off the Crown Classics menu or one of the talented chef’s favourite dishes, Rabbit Gnocchi, Braeburn Puree, Caper berries & Ceps, on the main restaurant menu, you will know that Chris will have selected the primarily local produce for its taste, seasonality and excellent quality. The beef, for example, is from the group’s own locally reared red poll herd.
The Good Food Guide is not alone this year in recognising Chris Lee’s culinary talent and the high standards of The Bildeston Crown. Attending the black tie event at The AA Hospitality Awards 2007-08 for England and Wales at theInterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, London last night (Monday 17 September 2007), Chris and Hayley Lee celebrated achieving the much coveted AA Three Rosettes. Defined by the AA as: “This award takes a restaurant into the big league. Expectations of the kitchen are high: exact technique, flair and imagination must come through in every dish, and balance and depth of flavour are all-important”. There were 21 new AA Three Rosettes awards made last night – The Bildeston Crown being one. This made The Bildeston Crown one of only two establishments in Suffolk to have this rating; the other being Hintlesham Hall.
Chef Chris Lee is happy to share these accolades with all the team at The Bildeston Crown. “The Bildeston Crown provides the perfect environment for my creativity as a chef. Food is my passion and my life, and to be recognised and be rewarded this year, albeit jointly, with the title of the country’s Best Up and Coming Chef by The Good Food Guide is simply amazing. And if this title was not enough, we now have the three AA rosettes. But winning the awards is just the beginning. The timing could not be better as we are currently expanding the restaurant and the challenge for me and the team is to show our loyal clients, our new customers and everyone behind the AA Rosette ratings and The Good Food Guide that their belief in us has not been misplaced.”
Chris Lee runs The Bildeston Crown with wife Hayley who manages all the non- Food and Beverage operations. The kitchen operates with a brigade of 8. The management couple also oversees two other Suffolk pubs in the group owned by local businessman James Buckle – The Queens Head in Erwarton and The Red Rose in Lindsey.