Taking on my first solo head chef role at a new restaurant is incredibly exciting.

We’ve made a few changes at the Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon in the five years I’ve been here, but nothing as exciting as launching the new offering at Magnolia.

By revising our restaurant offerings, guests now have the opportunity to enjoy award-winning food in a more informal setting.

The Oxford Times:

The newly refurbished Magnolia replaces the hotel’s previous brasserie, and will serve modern British food with classical roots, utilising the best of local produce and suppliers.

Restaurant 56, previously the main restaurant at the hotel, will now host afternoon tea in the original adjoining Regency house and hold special wine and food tasting occasions, plus events.

Here's how we broke the news of Andrew Scott leaving:

We’ve only just opened and it’s going really well – busy for lunch and dinner, lots of happy faces and great feedback. You can’t ask for much more than that as a chef.

I’ve picked up a lot from my various experiences and I’ve tried to bring it all together for Magnolia. I was classically trained, working in Michelin-starred kitchens from a young age. Getting to the finals of professional MasterChef was amazing.

I was lucky enough to cook with Tom Kitchin and Enrico Crippa and they were so inspirational. The whole thing broadened my view on food.

The weekly feedback from Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing shaped my style and refined me as a chef. It gave me confidence in my food.

Now I want to give local people the food they want to eat, the way they want to eat it. I think people already like the fact there’s so much choice and flexibility.

It’s modern British but with a classical twist.

The Oxford Times:

It isn’t your standard menu layout. If you want lots of different dishes to share, no problem. It’s all pretty flexible because there has been a shift towards fine dining and brasserie style eating.

You can still get refinement here at Magnolia. We do a wonderful Cornish crab and fennel cocktail with caraway crackers and mango salsa, and the mousse of Brinkworth Blue served with preserved fig and walnuts shows off locality and seasonality.

The Oxford Times:

But you can also pop in for a perfectly made Wagyu Beef burger or a handmade pizza. It’s a nice informal vibe.

My food has always been about flavour and I take great inspiration from other people. Tom Kerridge is a bit of hero of mine. He produces some of the tastiest and coolest food I’ve ever eaten.

The premise for Magnolia is definitely ‘good food I’d like to eat’. I love creating new dishes and playing with different ingredients and techniques.

Being a chef and dad to a little ’un is definitely a busy life, but I love my job and wouldn’t change anything for the world.

Hope to see you all soon.