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A warm welcome to Dean Westcar, our new Head Chef

We are very pleased to announce that Dean, a former Head Chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, is now heading up the kitchen brigade at Woolley Grange.

Dean was born and raised in South Africa. He enjoyed cooking as a child and, after moving to England aged fourteen, took a full time job in catering as soon as he left school.

He loves being a chef and his passion, creativity, willingness to learn and hard work has resulted in him achieving such coveted roles as junior sous chef at the Michelin starred Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, followed by sous chef at the Michelin starred Lucknam Park and then Head Chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park.

Dean has won a number of prestigious awards throughout his career: South West Professional Chef of the Year in 2014, BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals semi-finalist in 2015, the Acorn Award in 2017 (awarded to 30 leading lights of the industry aged under 30) and finalist of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition in 2017.

He has some exciting plans for the food at Woolley Grange:

'I have a real passion for local, homegrown, simple unpretentious food, and can’t wait to start cooking at Woolley. We are very fortunate to have the walled kitchen garden which provides an abundance of freshly grown fruit and vegetables in season plus a range of really good local food producers and suppliers. I have been working on new menus for when we re-open in May and am particularly excited to introduce the new Market Menu. This menu will change two or three times a week capitalising on what's in season in our walled garden, from our local butcher and fishmonger and from other local artisan food businesses. We will also retain our Orangery menu offering perennial family favourites, beautifully cooked and well presented.

My experience from Lucknam Park taught me how to produce well curated, local dishes to a high standard, but also how to host ‘chef's table’ style meals. I want to bring the same ethos to Woolley. Ensuring that the whole team is knowledgeable and passionate about our food and that I get out of the kitchen regularly to talk to our guests. It is really important to me that I get to know our locals and regulars and understand more about what it is that they are enjoying on our menus and where we can improve and expand. I look forward to meeting you all' 

We are delighted to have Dean onboard and hope you can take the opportunity to come an enjoy his food soon.