THERE’S plenty to cheer at Christmas for two local chefs who can add the accolade of being mentioned in two Michelin Guides to their list of achievements.
The Crown, in The Street, Old Basing, has been mentioned in the Great Britain and Ireland 2013 guide and the Eating Out in Pubs guide.
The news came as a wonderful surprise for Chris Barnes and fellow head chef Tom Wilson.
Chris said: “We had one inspection that we knew about, but the next visit was completely anonymous. When we hadn’t heard anything, we thought that was the end of that.
“I always buy the guides any way, and so just to check out what’s going on I looked through the Great Britain and Ireland guide.
“First I looked for Basingstoke, but no one was listed, and then I saw Old Basing and thought, ‘That’s where we are’. And I was pretty surprised to see that we were listed.”
Later Chris bought the pub guide, which came out a month later, and he was delighted to see The Crown listed in that one too.
BCoT-trained Chris and Tom place great emphasis on producing dishes from fresh ingredients.
“We try to offer something for everyone,” said Chris. “We have sandwiches at lunchtime for those who want to pop in for a light bite, and we have the full menu available as well, which leans a bit more towards fine dining with some of the dishes as well as dishes like fish and chips – we just make sure that it’s the best fish and chips you’ve ever had. And we are very much looking to improve on what we offer all the time.”
Chris’ father John Barnes can vouch for the quality of the food and puts the success and entry into the Michelin Guides down to the hard-working chefs and front-of-house staff.
He said the listings are a real vindication of all their hard work as the pub only reopened for business less than two years ago.
He said: “It’s great that the team have been recognised and that their hard work appreciated.”
The Crown, which last week held a gourmet evening, with wine supplied by Berry Bros & Rudd, is part of Hampshire Fare, which supports businesses that champion Hampshire produce.