Meet our Head of Food

W e take great pride in our food offering, serving delicious dishes that champion fresh seasonal produce sourced from local suppliers. Our Head of Food, Lewis Allington, oversees the creation of contemporary menus across our managed pub estate.

Since joining the company in 2017, Lewis and the Food team have reinvented our offering to be more inclusive and tastier than ever before. Find out more about him, our suppliers, and the thought process behind our culinary creations below. 

 

Writing new menus

Our menus change through the seasons and are always inspired by the feedback of our guests and the places we call home. I’m constantly reading customer feedback and talking with our pub operators and chefs to get an idea of what works and how we can improve. We’re always keeping an eye on trends too.  

A good example of how we are always responding to changing demands can be seen in our expanded vegan and gluten-avoiding offering.

R ather than offering two or three such dishes, we now serve vegan and gluten-avoiding options for all dishes that can be modified accordingly.

Our vegan fish and chips, which is made with banana blossom, has gone down a treat with customers. 

 

Our suppliers

The provenance of ingredients is key. We work in partnership with 14 local businesses that are all based in Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset, with many of them family-owned. I’m really proud to say all the food and drink we serve our customers is purchased from suppliers in our South West heartland, and we’re committed to sourcing as much sustainable local produce as we possibly can.  

For example, all fresh fish served in our managed Cornish pubs is now guaranteed to be caught in Newlyn, and all our dairy is sourced from Rodda’s - a 130-year-old, family-owned creamery in Cornwall. 

 

Our chefs

I encourage all our chefs to showcase their creative flair at every opportunity. When we come to drawing up new menus, I always ask every chef within our managed house estate to get involved. Everyone has the chance to feed their ideas into the main menu. 

Our chefs regularly display their creativity through their specials. We’ve got some really talented chefs at our pubs and some of our main menu staples started out on a specials board. The Food team is always on hand to support anyone looking to bring their new dish to our customers. 

 

Who are your food heroes?

I’m a big fan of Tom Kerridge. He’s done great things for pub food and has helped bring it to the forefront. He does it really well and is a great person too. Coming from Birmingham, I was brought up on curry, and I think Nisha Katona’s cooking is fantastic. It’s good to see her restaurants popping up everywhere.  

 

What is your perfect three-course meal?

Starter: Oysters. 

Main: Chateaubriand, cooked medium rare with peppercorn sauce and triple cooked chips. 

Dessert: Vanilla panna cotta.  

Treat your tastebuds

With such a variety of pub classics on offer, it's hard to resist paying a visit to one of our pubs! Sweeten the deal and check out our current offers.

Find a St Austell pub

Pay a visit to one of managed houses to try our delicious new menu, carefully curated using the finest of local ingredients. Whatever the occasion, you'll find something for everyone to enjoy.