Ones to watch: Greg Anderson

Ones to watch: Greg Anderson

by Great British Chefs 12 May 2021

After six years as head chef at Galton Blackiston’s Morston Hall, Greg Anderson is setting out on his own to open Meadowsweet with his partner Rebecca Williams, just down the road in Holt, Norfolk. He talks to Tom Shingler about what his new intimate restaurant-with-rooms is going to offer, sharing some of the more intricate recipes from his time at Morston Hall in the process.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

North Norfolk is a sleepy, quiet, relaxing part of the UK, but it’s also home to some incredible restaurants. You’ve got The Neptune in Hunstanton, a small inn offering Michelin-starred dinners; there’s the Gunton Arms, overlooking a deer park and offering all the trappings you’d expect from a classic British pub but with some fantastic food to boot; and then of course you have Morston Hall, Galton Blackiston’s incredible restaurant and hotel that is undoubtedly the jewel in north Norfolk’s culinary crown.

Greg Anderson has been the man responsible for retaining Morston Hall’s Michelin star and AA rosettes since 2014, when he joined Galton and the team as head chef at just twenty-five years old. ‘I was probably too young to take on a head chef role,’ says Greg, ‘but Galton and Tracy [Blackiston, Galton’s wife] took a chance on me and I’m forever grateful to them.’

Originally from Scotland, Greg has always worked in high-end, fine dining restaurants – and it shows in his food. Classical, seasonal and incredibly refined, it’s no wonder he was the perfect fit at Morston, which he moved to from his time working at Gravetye Manor in Sussex as a sous chef.

‘Early on in my career a lot of what I was cooking was classical French, which I think is still pretty evident in what I do today,’ he explains. ‘Eating out as much as possible in Michelin-starred restaurants – especially when you're a younger chef – also helps you see and experience what’s out there. The key is then finding your own style when you’re older and at a head chef level.’

Finding and refining his own style is exactly what Greg has been doing during his time at Morston Hall, cooking classically rooted, seasonal dishes at the very highest level. In 2020, however, he and his partner Rebecca Williams – who had been general manager at Morston Hall – decided to take the plunge and open their own place together.

‘We just felt it was time to set out on our own,’ says Greg. ‘We’ve both always loved those quite small restaurants that are owned and run by the people cooking and serving the food, so we started looking at sites in the area – mostly cafés and pubs. We eventually came across a site in Holt that had been a restaurant around fifteen years ago, but had since been lived in by the owners. It was originally called Yetman’s, which was quite well known back in the day. It’s not a big place – we reckon we can do around twenty covers max – but as soon as we walked through the door we fell in love with it.’

After acquiring the site in 2020, Greg and Rebecca started working on the refurbishment, quickly realising it had to be renovated from the ground-up. After months of hard work, it’s very nearly ready to welcome in the residents of Holt (and no doubt those from further afield).

‘There are three bedrooms upstairs, so we’ll serve breakfast to those staying the night, but we’ll start off by only doing around ten to twelve covers for dinner five nights a week,’ says Greg. ‘There’s going to be just one menu of around five courses served, made up of things I like to eat comprised of ingredients that are in season and grown or reared by people who do it very well. The menu at Morston Hall changed every day and I had such free reign to cook what I liked during my time there, so I think what I serve will be a natural evolution of that. The food will definitely be simpler though, especially at the start, as it’ll just be me in the kitchen and I won’t have five or six chefs helping me out!’

Dishes will, of course, change regularly and with the seasons, but there are some mainstays that Greg will keep on throughout the year. ‘We’ll usually have some sort of pasta dish on the menu, and having some really impressive desserts will be a real focus too. I’m quite excited about getting a really good risotto on the menu too. It’s a dish that, when done right, is so, so delicious. I’m using the best Acquerello rice, which has been aged for seven years, then playing around with different consommés and stocks to cook it in. I’m thinking a tomato-based langoustine stock along with a tomato consommé, then some langoustine claw meat and a roasted langoustine on top. It’s served quite simply, but as long as you make that risotto taste as good as possible I think that fits nicely.’

Meadowsweet is due to open at the end of May 2021. For more details, visit their website.