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Cookham restaurant given a Michelin award
THE chef patron of a Cookham gastro-pub has achieved Michelin success in less than a year, thanks, he says, to the creation of an inexpensive and "punchy" produce-driven menu.
The Bib Gourmand award recognises restaurants offering particularly good value for money, with a good quality three course meal excluding drinks for under £28.
Michelin guide’s editor Rebecca Burr said: "This award is as important for us as the stars are. Some of our readers travel the country based on it."
Clive Dixon, 44, chef patron of The White Oak, was already a familiar face to the Michelin inspectors from his career, which has included highlights such as earning a star at the Lords of The Manor Hotel, in Cotswolds, and working with renowned chefs such as Heston Blumenthal.
Mr Dixon started cooking professionally when he was 16 years old and took on his first head chef position at the age of 23.
In January he joined the Cookham pub, owned by Henry and Katherine Cripps, and has since been offering a simple but consistent and produce driven menu featuring the finest ingredients he can get hold of.
Mr Dixon managed to place the venue among 37 other new restaurants to be granted the Bib Gourmand award in the 2013 Michelin Guide, being the only one from Berkshire of a list of 137 in total.
The owner, Mr Cripps, said: "It’s really nice to be recognised by a group of people who really know what they are talking about."
The chef added: "What we want now is to maintain and keep the reputation we have started to build and echo what we do, the quality of what we do and that we can do at a reasonable price."
Mr Dixon explained his main goal is to be always full by attracting the neighbourhood first and foremost, and expanding to a wider clientele later.
"I wanted the menu to be short, punchy and driven by the produce at an incredible value and to be known as the ‘neighbourhood restaurant’," said the chef.
Mr Dixon currently offers three menu options, an A La Carte, a two or three courses set menu, and a tasting menu up to seven courses, changing them daily depending on produce availability.
The White Oak is located on The Pound, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9QE.
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