Newton Aycliffe 'dream' for Paul Bussey after working with UK's top chefs
A young chef who has worked for three of the country's top stars is to realise a long-held ambition of running his own restaurant in the North East.
Paul Bussey has left his role as head chef of Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough to take on the King’s Arms in Great Stainton, on the outskirts of Newton Aycliffe.
The pub has been closed for around ten months, but was recently acquired by local businessman John Wade, who also owns the County restaurant and Telegraph pub, both in Aycliffe Village.
After a significant investment the pub will reopen in the second half of August.
The 32-year-old was just 18 when he left the North East for London to work at The Connaught under the guidance of Angela Hartnett, a protégée of TV chef Gordon Ramsay. Later he worked for Mark Broadbent, who won accolades during a stint on The Great British Menu and then came more experience as a sous-chef in Ramsay’s restaurant in the Hilton Dubai before a spell at The Star Inn at Harome.
Bussey said: “This opportunity came up, albeit out of the blue, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
“If you don’t take the opportunity to do something for yourself, there’s every chance you will look back, five or 10 years down the line, and regret not giving it a go.
“I’d been told John Wade bought it and was in the process of refurbishing it, in preparation to re-open it as a restaurant, so I managed to get in touch with him. I just told him what I thought about its potential, and what I could do with it, and luckily John has been very supportive.”
“There’s no reason it can’t be a destination eaterie like it was 15 years ago,” said Bussey.
“People used to travel from all over the North East to come here, and I want to get it back to that. People will come out for good food at decent prices and really good service.”
Bussey was previously head chef at the highly-acclaimed Cleveland Tontine before he joined Acklam Hall – Middlesbrough’s only Grade I listed building which re-opened as a restaurant and conference centre in 2016 following a 12-month restoration programme.