Old Downton Lodge chef Karl Martin joins Craft Dining Rooms

karl martin

karl martin

Executive Chef 27th September 2019

Old Downton Lodge chef Karl Martin joins Craft Dining Rooms

This November, Karl Martin, former Chef Patron of Old Downton Lodge will return to the West Midlands, As Executive Chef Consultant at Birmingham’s new 100% Traditional British Dining Experience, Craft Dining Rooms, which is based at the ICC.

Karl has developed a critically acclaimed applause following a 20-year career which reached its pinnacle as Chef Patron of Old Downton Lodge which reached the converted 4 AA Rosset’s in 2019 and feature in the Michelin guide, 4 AA rosettes represents the top 3% of restaurants in the guide and represents the restaurants as the top in the UK, where the cooking demands national recognition.

The restaurants have to exhibit intense ambition, a passion for excellence, superb technical skills, and remarkable consistency. They have to combine appreciation of culinary traditions with a passionate desire for further exploration and improvement.

Karl started his career at a small golf club in the heart of England, where at the age of 13 he became a Kitchen Porter in the kitchen of the local golf club in Wolverhampton where his father ran the restaurant, followed by catering training at Henley College in Coventry. Since that time, he has gained experience working in many different restaurants in the Midlands, working with the likes of Peter Griffiths MBE, Simon Haigh F&B Director of the Eden Hotel Collection, Adam Bateman Group Executive of the Hotel Collection before taking over at Old Downton in 2017 and led it to national acclaim.

Karl’s philosophy is a natural fit for Craft Dining Rooms offering, Karl said my theory is to never force a dish, I class my food style as natural and flavour led, it’s a no gimmicks approach. Everything in the dish has a purpose. It's British country dining with a modem twist and it now features in a city centre location, with the emphasis on the British seasonal ingredients and the marriage between them.

I focus on the flavour and believe in treating the ingredients with respect. Using nature and working with and preserving the seasons. He went on to say “At Craft we will try to tell a story with our food and beverages, it’s a story of produce and tradition.

We are 100%, nature to plate, is very important along with the traceability of the produce we use, Craft philosophy is to marry the food and beverage and this is a rare, brave and commendable approach that I was inspired to be involved with following and realising Sam and Emma’s passion”

Karl also wanted to dispel the myth of fine dining saying some people have this misconception that some restaurants are “too posh”. I agree to a certain point, but I don’t want people to feel that way about Craft, I honestly don’t mind if they want to wear shorts and flip-flops.

I want people to come here feel relaxed and have great food, wine and an amazing experience, it’s the brigade’s role to ensure that is the case both front and back of house, my role is to develop the team and the offering to ensure that Craft Dining Rooms joins the City’s culinary front runners.

Local Birmingham Entrapper and Crafts Owner, Emma Morgan said “having known Karl for some time now we couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to lead Crafts new culinary offering, after all he cooked for my husbands and I for our anniversary. We believe that Karl’s food combined with the new innovative approach to the site which is set to see Craft develop into two amazing concepts and offerings, which will make use of the venues 120 square meter Canalside terrace and traditional dining room from January. This will see Craft develop a clear and concise dining and drinking offering which we believe will bring something truly unique to the city.

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