Tom Whittaker, who impressed judges on the 2011 series of the BBC cookery show, is heading up the 90-cover Terrace Kitchen on the first floor of the pub which officially re-opened last week.
The whole site has been revamped with wooden balconies now spanning the length of the building along with the introduction of an on-site smokery and ‘The Wren’s Perch’ – a wooden viewing box suspended off the terrace on the ground floor of the venue, overlooking the Thames.
On the menu
Whittaker’s new menu at the Terrace Kitchen ‘celebrates the best of British dishes with a contemporary twist’. Starters include Cornish king scallop, coppa, lardo, broad beans and squid ink; mains feature pheasant with smoke and hay, swede, cavolo nero, girolle and truffle; and desserts include millefeuille of poached plums with rosemary ice cream.
His food can also be enjoyed in the ground floor Canon Bar – a British pub with chrome Chaplin fonts lining the octagonal bar at the centre of the room.
“The opportunity to be involved with this project was too good to pass up,” said Whittaker. “I have always felt that pubs and the cuisine they can offer should be the heart of British dining.
“It’s great to be working with a truly British company such as Young's and I'm genuinely excited about what the White Hart can offer its customers.”
Speaking of the chef’s appointment, Young’s operations director Peter Taylor said: “We are very excited that Tom has come on board for this project. His passion for seasonal, British food and for offering a quality dining experience is a vision we share at Young’s.
“Diners can expect great things from Tom’s menu, which will demonstrate the creativity and skill that saw him through to the MasterChef final.”
It is the second time this year that Young’s has recruited a former MasterChef star to head up one of its restaurants. In the summer, the pub operator re-opened The Hand & Spear in Surrey, with MasterChef: The Professionals 2012 semi-finalist Karl Byron brought in to oversee the F&B which included a separate restaurant entrance, open kitchen, expanded dining areas and a new conservatory. Byron’s menu is based on British classics with locally sourced ingredients.
The Terrace Kitchen is now open at the White Hart in Barnes, London.