Ben Champkin takes the helm at The Newt in Somerset's hotel restaurant, The Botanical Rooms

The Staff Canteen

Ben Champkin is the new head chef at The Newt in Somerset's restaurant, The Botanical Rooms. 

The chef took over from Ben Abercrombie, formerly of Claridge's, the Sea Horse in Dartmouth, and prior to The Newt, the sous chef at Mark Hix's eponymous Soho restaurant.

The new head chef said he was "extremely excited" to share the news of his appointment, and "stoked to be part of this journey."

The chef is certainly one to watch - the NCOTY 2013 worked for Simon Hulstone at The Elephant when he won the Craft Guild competition, before moving to Cartmel to work as a sous-chef at Simon Rogan's two Michelin-starred restaurant, L'Enclume

He then spent a year in the United States, where he worked at three Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowwood, before returning to a head chef position at one Michelin-starred Roganic. 

Ben was also was a Roux scholarship finalist, first in 2016 and again in 2018 alongside Oliver Marlow, Sam Nash, Ryan Porter, Fergus Wilford, and Hide (Ground) chef and victor Martin Carabott.

The Newt

Located in Bruton, Castle Cary, The Newt in Somerset is a country house hotel which boasts large gardens, farm shops, orchards, a cyder press and cellar, as well as multiple restaurants. 

Much of the food served at The Botanical Rooms is grown on the grounds or sourced locally, with a focus on Somerset produce flame-cooked using wood from the estate. 

However, due to current social distancing restrictions, the restaurant is currently reserved for hotel guests until further notice. 

Also overseeing the food offering at the Newt is chef Alan Stewart, who previously worked at Chez Bruce, Launceston Place, Manson and La Esquina in Barcelona and is now the head chef at The Newt's Garden Cafe.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th September 2020

Ben Champkin takes the helm at The Newt in Somerset's hotel restaurant, The Botanical Rooms