Craig Mather to head Ramsgate’s Empire Room Restaurant

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th April 2016
Michelin-trained chef, Craig Mather is to leave his post as chef lecturer at East Kent College in Broadstairs to take over The Empire Room restaurant in the Royal Harbour Hotel, Ramsgate. royal harbour hotelThe venture is a partnership between Craig and James Thomas, owner of the award–winning boutique Royal Harbour Hotel. Craig will assume responsibility for the club-like, 30-cover Empire Room from the beginning of July. James said: “I am delighted to be forming a partnership with Craig - his skills as a chef, his experience and local knowledge will help build the reputation of the Empire Room restaurant." Craig's menu will have a strong focus on Kentish ingredients. Dishes will include Cured and lightly picked mackerel, Ramsgate wild brill and Roast matured single rib of beef cooked on the bone, as well as his signature dish of soft boiled duck egg with crispy smoked eel soldiers. Craig said: "This partnership with James Thomas offers an exciting opportunity to bring a regularly changing menu, focusing on the best of seasonal Kentish ingredients, in a relaxed and unique restaurant environment.” Craig trained for four years at the Michelin-starred Mallory Court in Leamington Spa and spent a year at Yew Tree Inn, in Kent. Craig's signature dish of soft boiled duck egg with crispy smoked eel soldiers was named ‘Starter of the Year’ by leading food critic Jay Rayner in an end of year restaurant round up in The Observer newspaper. Former fans of Eddie Gilbert’s will be delighted to hear that the dish will be reprised when Mather returns to the kitchen at the Empire Room restaurant. the empire roomCraig graduated from East Kent College when it was Thanet College, whose alumni include TV chefs Gary Rhodes and Richard Phillips. He wants to maintain links with the college, offering work placements and plans to develop apprenticeships and also running cookery courses for the public. Speaking about his time at East Kent College, Craig said: “It’s been brilliant to see the students’ progress and to support their development to succeed in this fabulous but hard-working industry.”   .

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th April 2016

Craig Mather to head Ramsgate’s Empire Room Restaurant