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Colin McGurran

Colin McGurran

This decision made financial sense, but was also motivated by a passion for provenance and sustainability. The chef loves the transparency a home-grown ethos brings with it, with front of house staff able to talk to customers about the ingredients on the menu with unusual precision and expertise. Menus are guided by the seasons, with perfectly prepared, fresh-from-the-ground ingredients – think Chicken with wild garlic and asparagus in spring, or Pigeon with textures of beetroot come autumn.

Nature has a huge influence on his food, and as the chef himself says ‘our creativity comes from looking at nature, how nature deals with produce, and we try and replicate that in what we do in the kitchen’. While his ethos may be simple the food is not, often displaying dazzling degrees of molecular mastery. Tomato gazpacho, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, playfully tweaks nature itself, coming served with a whole ‘tomato’ made from gazpacho mousse coated in glossy tomato gel.

The restaurant offers a 7 or 9 course ‘Menu Surprise’, a tasting menu where only the merest tantalising hints are given to diners as to what they can expect – ‘Third Course: Roasted and Confit’, for example, or ‘Main course: Braised from Lincolnshire’. Colin McGurran sees these menus as a way of communicating the restaurant’s own ethos, remarking on the Winteringham website: ‘[They] allow the customers to go on the journey that we’re going on ourselves … there’s a thread going through all of them demonstrating what we grow and the respect we have for our produce.’

This respect is clear to see – the chefs in his team are involved at every stage, from tending the gardens to caring for the livestock. Colin McGurran believes this instils a deep respect for the produce they are handling, observing to Big Hospitality: ‘When they’ve seen a lamb born, bottle-fed it, seen it grow then sent it off to slaughter they give extra care when they are cooking it.’