head chef Paul Gilbert

The Rose & Crown Inn is a 16th-century coaching inn boasting oak beams and flickering fires, which add to the pub’s warmth and charm. The impressive menu showcases local and seasonal produce, and features classic British dishes alongside tempting daily specials, all thanks to the new head chef, Paul Gilbert.

Michelle and Paul Gilbert, and Neil and Sheena Hislop took over at Rose & Crown in June 2016, and what a fantastic start they’ve had. We caught up with Paul Gilbert to tell us all about it…

Head Chef Rose & Crown

How long have you been in the restaurant business? 30 years

What was your first job? Working in the kitchen at the Wiltshire Hotel in Swindon in 1978

What were your first experiences with food?  The head chef at the Wiltshire let me cook a few dishes from the menu as he said he couldn’t pay me to learn, but I could try all the dishes to see how they should taste. Lobster Thermidor was the first dish I cooked and I have been hooked on seafood ever since

Tell us about your most memorable cooking experience? Although I have worked at a lot of functions that celebrities have attended, my most memorable experience was working on Christmas Day in a private retirement home. All the residents had their own beautiful apartments but had a restaurant on-site that I was managing. There were retired judges, wing commanders and we even had an admiral living there. When I started in the summer of that year, I told my wife Michelle that I would work Christmas day and we could have lunch with the residents. After eight months of me cooking for them, we ended up with two sittings of 40 turning up, so my wife and I worked from 7am until 6.30pm, and just fell into bed when we got home. It was a memorable moment as they all brought their families for dinner, they dressed in their finest clothes and uniforms, proudly showing their medals, had a wonderful Christmas day and looked so happy. I know that sadly, for two residents it transpired to be their last Christmas but I know they had a great one – and I feel humble to have been able to give them that

What drew you to take over The Rose & Crown? The fact that it’s an iconic country pub with huge potential and great regulars

Biggest challenge you’ve had to face? Finding great staff to cope with the successful growth of the business

Tell us what’s new at The Rose & Crown? The revived passion for food and customer satisfaction, and one of the best Sunday roasts you will ever find

What do you have in the pipeline for the pub? We are looking at reintroducing the quiz nights, live music, theme nights and weekend breaks

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to make it in the restaurant business? Expect to work the hardest you’ve ever worked. It’s a full on business and you’re only as good as your last meal, but enjoy the ride and customer interaction

If you’re after more lovely traditional pubs, view the latest Cotswolds Guide online:

 

Joele Forrester

Joele Forrester

Joele feels Hermione Granger’s pain of having a strange name and longs for people to be able to pronounce her name correctly (like guacamole!). Never one to take the lift, she still gets out of breath climbing the three flights of stairs to the office and is a lover of bookshops, vegetarian food and flavoured tea.

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