1 Michelin Star Chefs: Dan Smith, Chef Owner The Fordwich Arms

The Staff Canteen

Dan Smith is the chef-owner at the Michelin-starred The Fordwich Arms in Fordwich in Kent.

Dan was The Observer's Young Chef of the Year 2016 and has worked in some of the country's top restaurants including several of Jason Atherton's restaurants, before settling at The Clove Club for 5 years, where he was an integral part of the team that earned a Michelin star. 

The Fordwich Arms

Image Credit: @Nortontasha92/Instagram

King St, Fordwich, Kent CT2 0DB

Opening Hours:

Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 11pm

Sunday: 12pm -7pm

Monday: Closed

Telephone: 01227 710444

Website: www.fordwicharms.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Chef-Owner: Dan Smith

Co-Owner: Natasha Smith

Twitter: @fordwicharms

Instagram: @thefordwicharms

Facebook: The Fordwich Arms


Dan worked at The Clove Club for five years as a sous-chef where he was an integral part of the team that earned a Michelin star. 

Like a lot of young chefs, he started his career at a local restaurant in his hometown of St Albans at the age of 15. One year later, he left school to undertake a full-time culinary course at Westminster Kingsway College, but worked nights in another local restaurant, he said, "for beer money".

Image Credit: Peter Clarke / Fordwich Arms 

One of his earliest and most significant culinary influences is his mum who showcased her cooking skills by ‘cooking something different on the table every night.’

Dan also took influence from visiting prolific restaurants, such as The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn for his 17th and 18th birthday respectively.





The Fordwich Arms

Dan opened The Fordwich Arms with his wife, pastry chef Natasha Smith in 2017 when they were both just 26. It won a Michelin star a year later, as well as gaining several glowing reviews from the likes of The Guardian’s restaurant critic Grace Dent who gave it a 10/10. It has also previously won the AA Restaurant of the Year award and was No.8 on the Top 50 Gastropubs list for 2022.

The historic pub in picturesque Fordwich was previously run by Sue and Shaun Donnelly, who retired after 24 years in November 2017.

Food Style

The Fordwich Arms offers an à la carte menu as well as a  four and six-course tasting menu. 

The Michelin Guide UK 2019 comments that the Fordwich Arms uses top quality ingredients and creates dishes with distinct flavours that are carefully prepared to a consistently high standard. The culinary style is described as modern British.

It also marks it as 'one of our most delightful places' and say it has a particularly interesting wine list. 

Dishes on the menu include hand-dived scallop and sea buckthorn, slow-poached quail with Jerusalem artichoke and venison.

Image Credit: @Eatitdrinkitldn / instagram

As well as an impressive cheese menu, guests can try desserts such as a baked cheesecake with elderflower and confit lemon ice cream, or a caramelised Kentish apple, cider and Calvados tart.

Awards and other projects

The Fordwich Arms was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2019 just 10 months after opening.  

Having moved to the village of Bridge with their young son during lockdown, Daniel and Natasha also took over The Bridge Arms and re-opened it in May 2021. A grade II listed coaching inn dating back to the 16th century, the pub has been restored to its former glory, with a stunning dining room, cosy bar, original brick fireplace, plus a large garden for summer. It too was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022, having only been open for 10 months.    

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th January 2022

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Dan Smith, Chef Owner The Fordwich Arms