1 Michelin Star Chefs: Chris Simpson, head chef, Pensons

The  Staff Canteen

Chris Simpson is the head chef at Pensons in Tenbury Wells. 

Chris took over from Lee Westcott in January 2020 when the chef left to pursue other opportunities in his home city of London - which isn't to say that Chris won't hit the mark at Pensons.

Pensons

 

Pensons Yard, Tenbury Wells WR15 8RT

Telephone: 01885 410321

Website: https://www.pensons.co.uk/

Reservations:  opentable.co.uk

Pensons is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch from Thursday to Sunday.

Front of house manager:  Jim Conway

Twitter: @PensonsUK

Instagram: @pensonsrestaurant

@chrissimpson80

Facebook: @pensonsrestaurant

Career so far

A very high-calibre chef in his own right, Chris spent twelve years earning his stripes alongside Nathan Outlaw, first at Black Pig in Rock, then at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, where he was head chef for seven years, during which it secured two Michelin stars. 

Chris then moved to Devon in January 2018, succeeding Michael Wignall at Gidleigh Park, where he earned a Michelin star just nine months later.

However, in January 2019, he decided to move on and left his place to Chris Eden

His love for Cornish produce, and namely its seafood, has followed him, and explains why he has chosen not to stray too far from his cherished region. 

The restaurant 

Pensons opened in January 2019 on the 1200-acre Netherwood Estate on the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.

Once a derelict disused barn, it was successfully refurbished and given a modern decor, with its original features embellished and emphasized to conserve its rustic charm. It is a bed and breakfast as well as a restaurant.

Its flourishing kitchen garden provides a fair share of the food on the menu, with the remaining sourced in the local area. 

As well as being awarded a Michelin star in its first year, it was named Best Food & Drink business in Herefordshire and earned Best Restaurant at the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards in 2019.

What the guides say

Michelin

 

 

The Food

Chris' food at Pensons is true to that of his predecessors, celebrating the quality of the Netherwood Estate's own produce and ingredients local to the area.

Customers are given a choice of a three-course tasting menu, available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and at lunchtime, for £55 and £38 respectively, or a seven-course tasting menu for £80, or £60 at lunchtime. 

The restaurant's website warns that the menu may be changed daily - but a sample includes dishes like cod with jerusalem artichoke, chicken dressing and seaweed, or spiced red wine pear, vanilla pannacotta, gingerbread, with a British cheese selection priced at £12. 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th January 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Chris Simpson, head chef, Pensons