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New head chef at Clavelshay Barn

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Taking the helm at Somerset’s Clavelshay Barn is a dream job for homegrown talent John Godfrey

John Godfrey

Chef John Godfrey has swapped the town for a role in the heart of the countryside as the new head chef at Clavelshay Barn on the edge of the Quantock Hills.

Local talent John – who went to school in Taunton and studied catering at Somerset College of Arts and Technology – spent a year in Cornwall working at Polurrian Bay Hotel at Mullion before returning home to work at The Castle Hotel in Taunton. Spending over five years in the kitchens of the award winning hotel, John worked his way up to senior sous chef and developed his own imaginative style under head chef Liam Finnegan.

Now in charge of the kitchen at Clavelshay Barn, he is keen to bring a touch of rustic simplicity to the food offering, with every dish showcasing the fresh, seasonal produce from the farm where the restaurant is situated, along with ingredients from local suppliers.

The menu will change with the seasons, with flavour paramount in every dish; this May guests can expect to find the likes of Withycombe asparagus, wild garlic, local strawberries and clotted cream on the bill.

John’s particular passion is desserts and he produces some real stunners: his favourites are classic English puddings such as treacle tart and trifle, while his signature dish is bread and butter pudding.

‘It’s a dish which invokes memories of childhood for many people and which is really simple but delicious,’ he says.

Clavelshay Barn – housed in an old stone barn on a family-run dairy farm – will be open for lunch from Friday May 4. The restaurant is open Thursday – Sunday, with dinner served on Fridays and Saturdays.

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