Will Holland reveals details of new Shropshire restaurant

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Will Holland says 'the time is right' to open a restaurant of his own
Will Holland says 'the time is right' to open a restaurant of his own
Will Holland, the former chef-patron of Alan Murchison’s Shropshire restaurant La Bécasse, is staying in the county for the opening of his own restaurant early next year.

The town of Bridgnorth is the location of Holland’s newly acquired property, which is now undergoing an extensive refurbishment and will re-open as a small, neighbourhood-style restaurant in the spring.

“It’s a big decision to leave such a great restaurant to set up your own company,” Holland told BigHospitality. “But this is the right time for me – I’m still young; I’ve got the energy and the hunger for it.

“I don’t want to reveal too much but it’s definitely not going to be fine-dining. The food style will be similar to what I’ve been cooking previously but it won’t be quite as complicated.

“It will be simpler, more accessible and a lot less formal in terms of the style and ambiance. I don’t want to alienate anyone, especially local trade. I'm delighted to be remaining in the county of Shropshire, where I've lived for the past seven years. I'll be able to continue to build on the relationships I have with local food producers, farmers and suppliers.”

Holland, who earned a Michelin star at La Bécasse before the age of 30, first teamed up with Murchison at L’ortolan in Berkshire in 2004. In June, the chef revealed to BigHospitality he would depart the former Hibiscus restaurant in Ludlow to 'seek a fresh opportunity'.

High expectations

He left La Bécasse on the weekend of the Ludlow Food Festival which took place from 13-15 September. "It is the biggest weekend in the calendar for me here," he added. "It is a weekend which I really, really enjoy so I thought go out on a high.”

For the new venture, the chef will be overseeing the back-of-house for every service, with a small kitchen brigade. When asked if he wanted to expand on this new business with future openings, he replied: “Not for the moment.

“Anything’s possible in the future but the only thing on my agenda at the moment is to get this restaurant up and running and to make it one of the best in the country. I’ve got no doubt that I can do that but it’s going to take a lot of dedication and focus.”

Paying tribute to Holland, Murchison said the chef had done an 'amazing' job at La Bécasse. "I wish Will the very best in the next stage of his culinary journey and in the future," he said. "He has been a huge asset to my business and his presence will be missed as a close friend and inspirational work colleague.”

Will Holland’s new restaurant will open in Bridgnorth in spring 2014. 

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