1 Michelin Star Chefs: Mike North, chef patron, The Nut Tree

The  Staff Canteen

Mike North is the chef patron of the one Michelin starred, The Nut Tree in Oxfordshire.

Mike North was born in Oxfordshire in 1979. From a farming background and with seven siblings and a butcher for a father, he always had a taste for good home-cooked food.

The Nut Tree Inn

The Nut Tree Inn
The Nut Tree Inn

The Nut Tree Inn, Main St, Murcott OX5 2RE

Website: http://nuttreeinn.co.uk/

Tel: 01865 331253

Opening hours: Lunch 12pm to 2.30pm Tuesday to Saturday (Sunday 12pm to 3pm); Dinner 7pm to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday; Monday closed

Head chef: Mary North

Restaurant manager: Kelly Cherry

Trainee sommelier: Sarah Mckenzie

Facebook: The Nut Tree Inn

Twitter: @Nuttreeinn

Instagram: @nuttreeinn

Biography

He began his professional life at 15, living in Watlington, Oxfordshire, and cooking in the kitchens of a golf clubhouse and a local caterer, where he acquired skills of the craft. He had entered the construction trade only to leave shortly after; the kitchen was where he wanted to be.

Mike North
Mike North

Soon after its opening, Mike went for a meal at the Goose at Britwell Salome. It can be assumed that he enjoyed it, because he later returned to ask for a job. The Goose agreed, and Mike went on to cook as sous chef under Christopher Barber, who had previously spent 11 years as personal chef for HRH Prince of Wales. In 2002, the pair opened the White Hart Hotel in Nettlebed. During his time with the White Hart Hotel, Mike took the opportunity to hone his talent and gain inspiration in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White’s Mirabelle, Michael CainesGidleigh Park and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons.

However, in 2004, Christopher decided to sell the Goose, and so Mike returned to become head chef while his partner Imogen ran front of house. The restaurant won its first Michelin star just one year later in 2005, on North’s 26th birthday. It was the 6th British pub to be awarded the accolade. A further year later, the couple left the Goose, dreaming of their own restaurant. They found it in The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott, a 15th century thatched building conveniently close to their family home.

Awards and other activities

In January 2007, the extensively refurbished Nut Tree Inn reopened, and in 2009 it was awarded one Michelin star which it has retained every year since. Mike has since succeeded in various culinary competitions, including coming third in 2011’s Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius. The Inn currently sits at no. 31 on the Top 50 Gastro Pubs UK list.

In 2016 the team came second to the Ritz at the Copa Jerez Sherry finals where the eight finalists competed against each other in a live head-to head challenge at the Restaurant Show. 

Mike North
Mike North

Food style

The pub is popular for its varied menu that showcases the best fresh regional produce. Mike is keen to avoid over- complicated combinations, believing the best food to be that which is simple. Despite the enduring presence of the accolade, Mike has not grown complacent and plans to continue to improve his menu, the pub’s service and the building itself.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th October 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Mike North, chef patron, The Nut Tree