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New head chef for Cheshire destination pub

The 19th century destination pub, The Yew Tree in the Cheshire countryside, has appointed a new head chef with an impressive CV.

Ben Ackland joins the free house with a global career spanning iconic establishments from The Ivy and Soho House to multi-million-pound venues in Texas and private dining on the Côte d’Azur.

Since arriving at the idyllic 19th-century establishment, in the picturesque village of Bunbury, near Chester, Ackland has been getting to know the pub, its regulars and the local area.

Already known for its food, The Yew Tree will soon launch its brand new menu, which Ackland is busy creating. It will nod to the traditions of a truly British pub, while being influenced by Ben’s illustrious career, as well as his travels.

Ackland commented, “The menu will be my take on British pub classics; from homemade pies to proper fish and chips, and sticky toffee pudding served with homemade honeycomb. However, we also wanted to throw in a few curve balls that we think are sure to go down well.

“At The Yew Tree we’re all about giving our customers a warm welcome, together with an incredible menu, complemented by great beers and an exceptional wine list.

“New to the area, I have been taking the time to introduce myself to as many local producers as possible. I have been blown away by the quality of the produce in Cheshire and surrounding areas and am going out of my way to include as many of these items within the new menu as possible.”

Now owned by the Chester Race Company, The Yew Tree’s interior has also been given a makeover, giving traditional themes a contemporary twist to create a home-from-home feel.

Ackland said, “It’s a fantastic pub with a great, friendly atmosphere and an enviable position in the heart of the stunning Cheshire countryside. The buzz in the pub throughout the week, from a really diverse range of customers, has been great to see. And with dogs’ welcome at the bar too, it’s the perfect location for a pre or post-walk meal, any time of the year. I’m delighted to be part of the team.”

Sam Evans, general manager at The Yew Tree, described Ackland’s appointment as ‘fantastic news’. He said, “We’re absolutely delighted that Ben has joined our team. With his impressive background in the industry, and having already tried some sample dishes myself, I am certain that the menu will be a hit. Word is already starting to spread in the area, and we are really excited for the year ahead.”