1 Michelin Star Chefs: Dan Smith, head chef The Fordwich Arms

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2018

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

Dan was named the Observer's Young Chef of the Year 2016 and has worked in some of the country's top restaurants including working within the Jason Atherton group.

The Fordwich Arms

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King St, Fordwich, Kent CT2 0DB

Telephone: 01227 710444

Website: www.fordwicharms.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Chef Owner: Dan Smith

Twitter: @fordwicharms

Instagram: @thefordwicharms

Facebook: The Fordwich Arms


He 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. 

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Tartare of Orkney scallop,

apple, hazelnut & brown butter

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 for the full-time culinary course at Westminster Kingsway College, but worked nights in another local restaurant what he called ‘for beer money’.

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 at The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn for his 17th and 18th birthday respectively.

The Fordwich Arms

Dan opened the Fordwich Arms in 2018 with and his business partners, wife and pastry chef, Natasha and sommelier Guy Palmer-Brown - they were all just  26 years old. The historic pub in picturesque Fordwich had previously been run by Sue and Shaun Donnelly who retired after 24 years in November 2017.

Food Style

The Fordwich Arms currently offer nine menus which include a short and full tasting menu (with separate vegetarian alternatives) as well as a set menu, an A La Carte Menu and a cheese menu too.

What the guides say

Michelin Guide

 Restaurant James Sommerin, Michelin star restaurants, Michelin Guide 2018

AA Restaurant Guide

three rosette logo

Diners can expect to try hand-dived scallop and sea buckthorn, slow-poached quail with Jerusalem artichoke and venison.

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Warm spring vegetable salad

As well as an impressive cheese menu, guests can try desserts such as an elderflower & confit lemon or a frangipane, lemon thyme & peach.

The Michelin Guide 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.

Awards and other projects

The Fordwich Arms was awarded a Michelin star in the 2019 guide just 10 months after opening its doors.  The Michelin Guide said: "England's smallest town plays host to this elegant Arts and Crafts style pub, which boasts an impressive bar and a wood-panelled dining room by the river. The provenance of ingredients is key and they butcher beasts, cure meats, churn butter and bake bread on-site. Pared-down dishes are perfectly balanced."

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2018

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Dan Smith, head chef The Fordwich Arms