1 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Bonwick, chef patron, The Crown at Burchetts Green

The  Staff Canteen

Simon Bonwick is the chef patron of one Michelin-starred gastropub The Crown at Burchetts Green in Berkshire.

Simon Bonwick has been cooking for over three and a half decades. He opened his own gastropub, The Crown at Burchetts Green in 2013, and has since gone from strength to strength, featured in the Michelin Guide and the Top 50 Gastropubs.

The Crown at Burchetts Green

Burchetts Green, Maidenhead SL6 6QZ

Telephone: 01628 824079

Restaurant manager: George Bonwick

Website: www.thecrownburchettsgreen.com

Twitter: @Crownburchetts

Biography

Simon Bonwick grew up in Croydon, living with his five sisters and single father. As the story goes, Simon realised he wanted to be a chef after he fell ill with mumps and his dad cooked him a dumpling stew following a Delia recipe - the only cookbook they had in the house.

At the age of 14, he moved to Lincolnshire and began working at The Bridge Hotel under chef David Rollow, formerly of The Connaught. He left school and began his career in the kitchen.

Simon then moved to London and worked at The Connaught as well as several Michelin-starred kitchens and luxury hotels throughout the nineties, before moving in to pubs.

He made a name for himself at Black Boys Inn in Hurley, mentioned in the Good Food Guide 2007 and awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Simon then moved to The Three Tuns in Henley, which gained him another mention in the Good Food Guide 2011. Simon then spent two years working in private service for two different families, and began saving money to buy The Crown at Burchetts Green.

The Crown at Burchetts Green

Simon bought the freehold of The Crown at Burchetts Green in the autumn of 2013. Entirely family-run, Simon, his wife and their nine children all help out where needed.

What the guides say

Michelin Guide

 

 

 

AA Restaurant Guide

 

Harden’s

 

Simon is the only chef, but his son Charlie is working in the kitchen as an apprentice. Since Dean left to work at The Waterside Inn, Simon's son George runs front of house.

The two dining rooms at The Crown are a more formal setting, but the small bar area is more relaxed, and a favourite with local drinkers. The Crown first appeared on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2016, and this year, it was listed at number 11.

The gastropub was first awarded a star in the Michelin Guide 2017 .

In 2021, Simon announced that the restaurant would close in December, stating that the family business was set for "new beginnings in a bright future," promising to share more details in due course.

Also in 2021, the chef released a cookbook called Cooking in Pubs, published by A Way With Media. The description reads:

"Cooking In Pubs is a book not just about food; it is about art, dreams, love and living out a dream."

Food Style

Classically-trained, Simon’s food style takes a lot of inspiration from French techniques. He told The Staff Canteen in an interview in 2017: “I cook what I like to eat myself and I treat the ingredients I use with a huge amount of respect. It’s all about flavour and we’re a pub so we want people to be full. They get a nice plate of food and we always offer second helpings.”

Simon likes to add a touch of lightheartness to his menus, which feature dishes like Venison Braised for Ages and ‘Popped In a Pie’ Rowanberry Sauce; Slow Cooked Veal Cheek with Rather Nice Veal Sauce and Treacle Sponge ‘Hot’ Like When You Are Little.

Michelin describes the chef's food as follows: "The concise selection of deftly prepared, classically based dishes is decided upon daily; the options are diverse and all are equally appealing and flavoursome, with defined flavours and a refined touch. Top ingredients from the local area and the markets of Paris are crafted into something truly special under the chef’s experienced hand."

Videos with Simon Bonwick:

 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th October 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Bonwick, chef patron, The Crown at Burchetts Green