The Raby Hunt's James Close is Chef of the Year in The Good Food Guide 2017

The Staff Canteen

The top entries and award winners from the Good Food Guide 2017 have been revealed today and James Close, of Top 50 restaurant The Raby Hunt in Summerhouse, Durham, has been announced  as Chef of the Year.

James said: “The last 6 years has been an incredible experience for everyone involved at The Raby Hunt. Being self-taught means learning each and every day - proving to myself, my customers and the food world that I am passionate and dedicated to this craft.”

He added: “To have been awarded Chef of the Year is an honour and amazing recognition so early on in my career. It is fantastic for the region. The Good Food Guide is something that I have grown up with, my father always had a copy for our trips to restaurants across the UK.”

>>> See the top 50 in The Good Food Guide 2017 here


The Good Food Guide’s annual Top 50 restaurant ranking is highly regarded by chefs and restaurant-goers alike.  The Raby Hunt is the North East’s top scoring restaurant, featuring in the top 50 of the Good Food Guide at no 42. The Top 50 recognises the very best talent in the country; a place on the list represents a huge achievement, with each position earned by its score in The Good Food Guide, editor appraisal and strength of reader feedback. The top restaurant this year is L’Enclume in Cumbria, which scored a perfect 10 and kept the number one spot for the fourth year running.

>>> Read: James Close, chef patron, The Raby Hunt

Speaking of the winner of Chef of the Year, Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide said: “James Close is a completely self-taught chef and has always shown an incredibly controlled and precise approach to cooking. This year we noted that his outlook had matured noticeably, to the extent that James now plays a major role in the British dining scene. He never over reaches – his repertoire of signature dishes is refined over the year – and he works very closely with quality local producers, yet isn’t afraid of going further afield for great produce and total consistency. Service is charming and the atmosphere is special without stuff and nonsense.”

>>> Read more on the Good Food Guide 2017








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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th August 2016

The Raby Hunt's James Close is Chef of the Year in The Good Food Guide 2017