Aiden Byrne is to leave his job as Head Chef at London’s Dorchester Grill Room restaurant next year to move back to his Northern heartland where he will open his own pub.
Byrne, who has drawn praise for his championing of British food, told BigHospitality he felt it was time to go it alone and was keen to move back to the area where he grew up.
“It’s definitely time to go out on my own and I’ve decided to go back up North. I would like to go back home and offer the people who I was brought up with the chance to come in to my restaurant and eat my food,” he said.
The contract on the pub will complete next week, but it will run as normal until Byrne completes his role at the Dorchester .
His plans for the Church Green are to serve modern British food, but with a more relaxed feel than his current menu, and eventually add nine letting bedrooms.
“I still want to strive for Michelin stars and everything, but it will be more about making the business successful than anything,” he said.
Although he is aware of the pitfalls of opening a business during the current economic climate, Byrne said he is confident he will make his pub a success.
“Of course I’m worried about the economic situation, but as long as I offer people value for money and what they want, they’ll still come out and spend their money.
“I know a chef on Great British Menu who was making £13k a week at his pub before he went on the show and then afterwards he was taking £7k a day. If I get the power to make that I’ll be happy.”
As well as opening the pub next year, Byrne will be appearing in another series of Great British Menu and is also in talks to write a second cookbook that will focus on regional British food, following the success of his first book, Made in Great Britain, which went on sale last month.
Since joining the Dorchester in 2006, Byrne has gained a loyal following for his take on British cuisine and using quality British produce. It is not yet known who will replace the chef when he leaves.