10 minutes with Craig Atchinson and Craig Rogan, Hudsons

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th August 2017

On August 22, The Grand’s head chef, Craig Atchinson, will reopen his new and improved diner in Yorkshire; Hudsons, which has three Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide.

Having undergone a refurbishment since it's closure, The Staff Canteen is excited for its relaunch. We caught up with Craig Atchinson and Craig Rogan to talk about the refurbishment, setting their sights on Michelin and how Craig Rogan's father, Simon Rogan, has helped spur the chef on to achieve his dreams.

Michelin stars

Craig Atchinson and Craig Rogan have their sights set on a Michelin star with the reopening of their venture Hudson's, based in the The Grand Hotel & Spa.  They said: “Of course, this is the ultimate goal for most chefs, and I would love to know what the criteria is. We’ve had a level of interest from Michelin recently, and achieving a star is certainly something we are aiming for. For me, I believe we have the team to deliver this internationally-recognised accolade, and consistency is certainly a major focus on working towards the star.”

We also asked Craig Rogan, how being the son of Simon Rogan has influenced him, “Growing up around kitchens kick-started a love for the industry that I have had from a very young age. Being a chef has its challenges, even more so when your father is one of the best."

And although the chef says there's added pressure being related to one of the country's most renowned chefs he also says this is what he thrives on.

"My father has influenced me by achieving what he has, and knowing where he has come from inspires me as it does many others. I highly respect him, but I will always be my own person, as I always have been. My passion for cooking and this industry goes beyond anything, and I am aiming for the very top.”

The Rise and the reopening of Hudson's

The Grand Hotel's Hudson's Restaurant
The Grand Hotel's Hudson's Restaurant

As Hudson’s reopening approaches, Craig Atchinson has his sights set on Michelin. His restaurant is set to open following the successful opening of The Rise – the pair’s 130 seater restaurant and terrace bar offering a small plate, dining concept to keep with their food ethos.

The award winning chefs wanted to drive Hudson’s forward and explained: “We’re creating a distinction between it and the hotel so that Hudson’s becomes a standalone destination. Hudson’s is still very much a part of the Grand Hotel & Spa, but will operate with no distractions from other outlets. The opening of The Rise has given us an opportunity to take Hudson’s one step further.”

>>> Find out more about Craig Atchinson here

Prior to reopening, the pair explain what improvements are being made to Hudson’s: “The Grand Hotel & Spa is a Grade II listed building so we won’t be dramatically overhauling the interior – it’ll see a lick of paint and new lighting. We discovered the jewel in the crown when we pulled up the carpet: it revealed a stunning herringbone parquet floor that just needs a sand and a varnish to bring the room to life. There is a lot of work going into the table settings and collateral with new logos and design complementing our vision of nature and simplicity. We are working with a local potter who is going to make some stunning stone vases that will house edible foraged herbs and flowers that will be the centre piece for each table.”

The expansion of The Grand Hotel & Spa

Further to this, The Grand Hotel & Spa is currently undergoing a £15m expansion, which will see the addition of a further 100+ luxury bedrooms as Craig Atchinson explains: "The former Hudson’s space will be transformed into an executive lounge for guest use. This space will offer a premium breakfast (in addition to the offerings in The Rise), and complimentary drinks and snacks throughout the day. The lounge will offer a great contemporary space to relax and enjoy five-star Yorkshire service.”

He was also delighted to tell us they were very fortunate to have such an established customer base from the former Hudson’s and states, “guests and locals are certainly missing our flagship restaurant in the short time it has been closed. We are not re-inventing the wheel with the re-opening, but taking our ever-evolving repertoire and elevating it to a level we haven’t reached before. We have reduced the covers by more than 50%, and with a solid front and back of house team, the sky is the limit.”

Tunworth, wild mushrooms, truffle, preserved roots

Tunworth, wild mushrooms, 

truffle, preserved roots

What's on the menu?

Hudson’s will offer two tasting menus: one seven-course at £65 and one ten-course at £85. Craig Atchinson says; “There will still be a couple of choices on the fish and meat courses, as we want to give our guests some options. The menu will feature some of my signature dishes such as the summer vegetable dish and stone bass with fennel and langoustines.”

Opening times and future plans

With the reopening fast approaching, the duo are most looking forward to focusing on smaller dishes and giving the team the time they need to make sure every single dish that comes out of the kitchen is just right. 

"It’s incredibly exciting for me and the team", says Craig. "Hudson’s will only be open for dinner and will be closed two days per week, which means we’ll have the same team every day, making the food and service extremely consistent and allowing us to concentrate on our future goals.”

By Crystal Moffatt

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th August 2017

10 minutes with Craig Atchinson and Craig Rogan, Hudsons