Jake Simpson joins The Rectory as head chef
A chef formerly based in London has moved to Wiltshire to take a head chef role at a hotel's in-house restaurant.
Jake Simpson has joined the team at The Rectory, heading up the kitchen in a restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner for hotel guests, diners, locals and walk-ins seven days a week.
Simpson's previous, long-term head chef role was at the Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo in Soho. He is also a Jeremy Lee alumni at both the Blueprint Café, operated by D&D London, and then European restaurant Quo Vadis, also in Soho.
He is joined by James Erasmus as sous, who brings a wealth of experience from stints at Michelin-starred The Ledbury, The Woodsman, and four years as sous chef at The Harwood Arms.
Though the menu will be constantly changing, sample dishes include smoked cod's roe, monk's beard and seaweed; egg yolk ravioli with bottarga butter and crumbs, raw Hereford beef with lardo and bone marrow tartare; Cornish cod ink romesco with salt cod croquette; venison haunch, faggot, parsnip and pickled prune; crisp polenta with delice pumpkin, ricotta and sage; pistachio cake quince with yoghurt and rosewater sherbert; and blood orange and white chocolate panna cotta rosemary cake.
On starting his new position, chef Simpson says: "I'm really excited to join the fantastic team here at The Rectory. It's a fabulous hotel and such a gorgeous dining room. I'm looking forward to being able to use produce from the kitchen garden, and from the fields and farms around – we already have venison shot locally on the menu and lamb from [owner] Alex's Mum. It's such a wonderful opportunity to work in tune with the seasons and the local terroir."