A CHEF and his kitchen team have quit just three weeks after winning a Michelin star.
Ryan Simpson and his kitchen and waiting staff left The Goose in Britwell Salome on Saturday, leaving behind a diary full of bookings.
Mr Simpson last night claimed he left after he was told his food was “too poncey” and ordered to focus more on “pub grub” by his boss, property developer Paul Castle.
A spokesman for Mr Castle said there had been a business “disagreement” and the pub was closed for refurbishment.
Mr Simpson, who ran the restaurant with his life partner and sous chef Liam Trotman, revealed he and his team are looking for a new restaurant.
The 27-year-old, of Chestnut Place, Watlington, said: “We just walked out together and said that was it. During the past year we have all put our heart and soul into winning a star and putting the restaurant back on the map.
“But within a couple of weeks we were told to forget everything we had done and to drop down a few levels.
“It was a management dispute and we just weren’t going to stand for it. It’s not what we are about, and it’s not what I want to do.”
The five-strong team are unemployed until they find new premises, and Mr Simpson admitted he may have to get a head chef role in the meantime.
He said: “It’s a real shame in some ways because we were looking forward to taking the restaurant as far as we could.”
Mr Simpson became the third chef in a decade to win a star for the restaurant, following Mike North and Matthew Tompkinson.
He had been at The Goose since June 2008 and also acted as general manager.
His signature dishes included pan-roasted wood pigeon, carpaccio of Chiltern hills muntjac and Britwell Salome pork belly.
Mr Castle’s spokesman Maziar Yazdanian said: “Due to a disagreement between Ryan and Mr Castle regarding the operations of the business Ryan chose to resign his position unexpectedly as executive chef and his resignation became effective on February 6. Ryan asked the other staff members from the kitchen to resign too. As a result of which, The Goose has been forced to close.
“It will undergo a refurbishment and reopen on Monday, March 1. It will be run by Mr Castle as a gastro pub in an identical manner to when it originally won a Michelin star.”