1 Michelin Star Chefs: Sarah Hayward, head chef, The Coach

The Staff Canteen

Sarah Hayward is head chef at one Michelin-starred gastropub, The Coach in Marlow

Sarah Hayward has always wanted to be a chef. She started off doing a few shifts a week as a potwash at the Crab and Lobster in Bembridge, as her father, also a chef, wanted to prove to her that it wasn't all fun and games. Naturally, she loved it, and decided to pursue it as a career.

The Coach

Image Credit: Cristian Barnett

3 West Street, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 2LS


Opening hours: 

8:00am to 10:30am; Saturday & Sunday

12:00pm to 2:30pm; Wednesday - Sunday 

Dinner :
6:00pm to 8:45pm; Wednesday - Sunday

Monday & Tuesday

Chef Patron: Tom Kerridge

Facebook: The Coach at Marlow

Twitter: @TheCoachMarlow

Instagram: @thecoachmarlow


After her first experience in a kitchen, Sarah secured an apprenticeship at The Royal Hotel on the Isle of Wight, where she worked between 2008 and 2010.

The young chef finished her apprenticeship under Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor, where she would later become a demi chef de partie. 

In 2012, she joined Hywel Jones' team at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, also as a demi chef de partie.

While she was at Lucknam, Sarah she worked at The Brasserie, helped launch the hotel's cookery school alongside chef Hrishikesh Desai, and spent a year at The Park (now Restaurant Hywel Jones).

Image Credit: Cristian Barnett

In 2014, Sarah was hired as a demi chef de partie at Tom Kerridge's Michelin-starred flagship, The Hand and Flowers. Two and a half years later, she moved to The Coach as a junior sous-chef.

In 2019, Tom put his faith in Sarah and asked her to join the founding team The Bull & Bear in Manchester. She started off as a sous-chef and was promoted to head chef in February 2020.

She remained at The Bull & Bear throughout the pandemic, before a team reshuffle across the restaurant group saw her move back to The Coach. The chef retained the gastropub's star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022.

The Coach

After the success of The Hand and Flowers, Tom Kerridge opened his second pub in Marlow in December 2014.

A more informal venue than its sister restaurant, The Coach is intended to be accessible to a wider audience.

In line with Tom's ethos of hiring his team from within, some of the chefs from The Hand and Flowers moved to the new establishmentsite, including Tom De Keyser and Nick Beardshaw.

Both have since moved on: Tom is back at The Hand and Flowers, where he is the head chef, while Nick heads up the kitchen at Kerridge's Bar & Grill in London.

After earning the recognition of a Bib Gourmand in 2015, The Coach was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2018.

Describing the day in an interview with The Staff Canteen in 2018, Tom De Keyser said: “We didn’t think it would happen for us because it’s so relaxed here – we flip burgers and watch Sky Sports. But we did, and it was amazing for us all. It was one of the best days of my life, to be honest!”

In 2022, when asked how she had reached her current position, Sarah said: "I have no idea, I like to think I've got a pretty good work ethic. I do believe that what you put in you get back and I know that is definitely something that has reflected on my career especially since I've joined the Tom Kerridge Group." 

Like any chef at the helm of a Michelin star restaurant, she said: "Of course I’m worried about retaining the star next year! It will be my first year heading up a Michelin-starred kitchen and I have some pretty big shoes to fill taking the reins from Nick and Tommo [Tom De Keyser]."

Image credit: Cristian Barnett

Food Style

The seasonal menu at The Coach is comprised of small, tapas-style dishes, perfect for sharing, with a focus on rotisserie-grilled meats. 

The Coach sources its game from a local gamekeeper, so depending on what is dropped off, venison, mallard and pheasant dishes have been known to make an appearance on the menu. The house burger has also become very popular - though it has been tweaked a few times over the years, it currently features raclette, pulled pork and dill pickle.

Awards and distinctions

The restaurant has listed in the Top 20 Gastropubs in Estrella Damm's Top 50 Gastropubs list since 2016, when it was also the list's highest entry. It placed 13th on the list in 2022, and was awarded 3 AA Rosettes in 2021. 

Videos With Sarah Hayward:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th May 2022

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Sarah Hayward, head chef, The Coach