Nathan Eades and Alyn Williams announced as Tim Allen's replacement at The Wild Rabbit

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2017

Nathan Eades and Alyn Williams are the new culinary team set to take over The Wild Rabbit.

Nathan, from one Michelin-starred Simpsons restaurant in Birmingham will join The Wild Rabbit at the beginning of next year as head chef. He will replace former executive chef, Tim Allen following his departure to become executive director of Food and Beverage at Select Property Group.

Alyn will follow in May 2018 as chef patron - his restaurant at the Westbury will continue as normal under his name, he took to twitter to say: "I am excited to announce I will be joining The Wild Rabbit team as Chef Patron in May 2018. It is still business as usual at Alyn Williams at The Westbury."

“The Wild Rabbit’s location in the Cotswolds, surrounded by the Daylesford estate, means that we have access to some of the finest locally sourced ingredients in the country,” says Alyn. “My ethos is symbiotic with our surroundings, and I am looking forward to working closely with everyone at Daylesford, from the farm to the bakery, to produce great dining experiences for our guests."

Nathan Eades
Nathan Eades

Speaking exclusively to The Staff Canteen, Nathan said: "I could probably count on my two hands the places I would have left Simpsons to go to and The Wild Rabbit was definitely 100% on that list and after going for a visit it was evident that I wanted it to happen because it is a ridiculous set up there.”

Following in Tim's footsteps, Nathan says there will be an emphasis on the quality of ingredients and a strong focus on seasonality when the chef takes the reins of the kitchen in the new year.

"The quality of ingredients will be the nucleolus of whatever we build on. I want to use the best tomatoes and banging strawberries. The food on the plate isn't going to be fussy and will be in keeping with the pub. At the end of the day, it's a pub and they go there for that kind of meal instead of the glamour of going to a three-star restaurant in Monaco", Nathan explained.

Known for supporting British farmers and artisan producers, Nathan said his mind was blown when he went to visit The Wild Rabbit which is set in the heart of the Cotswolds and is excited to have over 3,000 acres of farmland at his disposal.

He said: "You just can’t turn it down and that was the driving force for me."

Nathan was headhunted for the role whilst on holiday and told The Staff Canteen that it would have to be 'a very special place'  for him to be prised away from Simpsons. Nathan also praised Luke, Andreas and the rest of the team for their support.

“They weren’t jumping for joy, and I’m grateful they weren’t because it clearly means they think a bit of me but at the same time Luke’s exact words were that he’s pleased for me and that’s a testament to what Simpsons is about really, building chefs and sending them out into the big bad world.”

Under Tim's guidance, The Wild Rabbit achieved a star in the Michelin Guide 2017 and 3 Rosettes from the AA restaurant Guide 2015. Following his departure, the restaurant had its star deleted from the Michelin Guide UK 2018.

Speaking candidly about accolades, and stars in particular, Nathan tells us the food will take president over awards.

"The food will be the focus for us and hopefully we will be recognised by the guides if and when it happens. I won't be chasing them and they won't give me sleepless nights."

Nathan's career began at Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire. The next 11 years were spent working for a variety of hotels up and down the country before venturing out on his own to open his first solo restaurant Epi in Bromsgrove. After selling the lease in 2015 Nathan joined Luke Tipping's restaurant, Simpsons in Birmingham.

Owner Carole Bamford is looking forward to welcoming both Alyn and Nathan to the Cotswolds. She said: “I am very proud that the The Wild Rabbit has always attracted food lovers from afar whilst looking after our locals, and I know our two new chefs will be an exciting next chapter for the pub”. 

By Michael Parker

@canteenparker

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2017

Nathan Eades and Alyn Williams announced as Tim Allen's replacement at The Wild Rabbit