Michele English and Russell Clement, the winners of the last series of the BBC Two show The Restaurant, will open their first restaurant in a pub in Marlow next month, it has been revealed.
Backed by Raymond Blanc, the restaurant will be called The Cheerful Soul in the Hare & Hounds and will serve British brasserie style food with a menu changing every two months to follow the seasons.
The couple have spent the last five months training with the teams behind the Brasserie Blanc restaurants and learning all aspects of the business, from food costing and accounting to staff recruitment and legal duties.
They will be joined at the restaurant - used in the TV series as The Gallery restaurant - by a team of four in the kitchen and five front-of-house.
English said: “The Hare & Hounds has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and feels like the perfect home for The Cheerful Soul. We have five weeks before opening to craft the restaurant and inject our personality into every detail.”
Clement said his menu would use local produce and would feature some `forgotten recipes alongside firm favourites`. Confirmed dishes on the opening menu include Pressed Ham Terrine with Cauliflower Piccalilli and Devonshire Scone Pan Perdu with Strawberries and Clotted Cream.
Blanc said: "Russell and Michele have worked very hard over the past few months to transform their dream of running their own restaurant into a reality and for that I have a tremendous amount of respect for them."
The winners of the first series of The Restaurant - Jeremy and Jane Hooper - quit their venture with Blanc after just six months in the job, because they felt the pub concept was wrong for them. They returned to their home county of Cornwall to set up their own restaurant.
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