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From River Cottage to Corton Denham, Dan Richards to bring his nose-to-tail ethos to The Queens Arms' menu

Amy Brice

Dan Richards

The Queens Arms welcomes new head chef, Dan Richards, on Monday 11 April, who is set to fulfil a long held ambition to immerse himself in the countryside that supplies his kitchen’s produce. With a reputation for building dishes around the finest quality local and seasonal ingredients, Dan will be in his element at the award winning Queens Arms, which measures its food in metres, not miles, and sources its menu from its own kitchen garden, smallholding and other local producers. The Queens Arms received an Alastair Sawday's award for using Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce at the end of 2015.

Having spent over a decade developing his seasonally inspired cooking style in senior positions across London, including Vinoteca, the Wapping Project and St John Restaurant, Dan took the decision to move to the south west to get closer to the producers from whom he sourced the majority of his menus, working as head chef at the River Cottage Canteen & Deli in Axminster from 2014, before joining The Queens Arms this month.

Sustainability, quality and trust for the producer are all at the heart of Dan’s ethos, a chef that prides himself on letting the finest ingredients speak for themselves, without feeling the need to overcomplicate dishes with a vast array of culinary techniques. As The Queens Arms’ name is already synonymous with provenance, innovation and an exceptional dining experience, this new appointment will build upon the strong reputation established by owners Gordon and Jeanette Reid, who recently celebrated seven years at the helm.

Dan explains;

“It was clear from my first meeting with Gordon and Jeanette that The Queens Arms was the perfect fit for me. Their passion for local produce carries through every aspect of the business, from the main menu and snacks on the bar to the outstanding selection of beers from small brewers in the area. I’m hugely excited at the prospect of joining an independent, family-run pub that stays so true to its values. We have a great deal in common, not least a shared belief in the importance of seasonality and support for British producers, so I look forward to continuing to help promote our long-suffering farming industry in my new role. The growing, rearing and aftercare standards we have in this country are exceptional, so at The Queens Arms we will be making the most of each and every lovingly reared animal that comes through our door.”

Jeanette Reid, co-owner of The Queens Arms, commented;

“We can’t wait for Dan to join the team and are really looking forward to him taking our locally sourced and seasonal menu to the next level with his nose-to-tail ethos and true-to-produce cooking style. Dan brings a huge amount of experience to the table and I know he’s relishing the prospect of running our kitchen. There will be lots of exciting developments to come as a result of Dan’s appointment, but one thing is for sure, our diners are in for a fantastic treat.”

For more information about The Queens Arms visit www.thequeensarms.com.