Colin McGurran was born in Zambia, returning to the UK as a boy. He trained at Bournemouth College before getting a taste of fine dining working at the 2-Michelin-starred Domaines Haut de Loire in Onzain, France. He later moved to Abu Dhabi, accepting a post as banqueting manager for the UAE royal family.
The chef is a popular face on television including Saturday Kitchen, Ramsay’s Best Restaurant and Great British Menu. He has appeared on the latter a number of times, winning in 2012 with his staggeringly accomplished Quail in the woods starter – created from over 50 ingredients – and again in 2014 for his nostalgic Dickin medal dessert.
Returning to Britain in 2001, Colin McGurran took over the Woolpack Country Inn in Whitley with his sister. In 2005 he bought the luxurious restaurant with rooms Winteringham Fields in North Lincolnshire, driven by a desire to return to fine dining. The chef had dined at Winteringham Fields some years before when it was still owned by Germain and Annie Schwab, and held great respect for the venue and their approach to maintaining the restaurant’s excellent reputation.
While taking over such a prestigious venue may have seemed a daunting task to many, Colin McGurran was keen to build on the restaurant’s stellar reputation and spent a year shadowing Schwab and his head chef Robert Thompson to learn about the running of the business. This process was at times hands on, and the chef took the time to learn some of Schwab’s signature dishes – such as Hare royale – to keep on the menu by way of homage.
Colin McGurran expanded the business, developing much of the property’s eight acres into a fully functioning farm and nursery, and the chef encourages his staff to take an active part in the cultivation and harvesting of their produce. Sheep, pigs and chicken are kept to supply meat and dairy, while the vast majority of the restaurant’s herbs and vegetables are grown in the grounds of Winteringham. Anything that cannot be grown on site, such as beef and shellfish, are sourced as locally as possible, a philosophy the chef refers to as their ‘One-Mile Menu’.