Award-winning chef back on the menu at the Assheton Arms

Lancashire Life’s Chef of the Year is cooking up a storm in the kitchen at the Assheton Arms, with the support of a new front of house management team.

Antony Shirley, executive chef at the Seafood Pub Company was named Chef of the Year at Lancashire Life’s annual Food and Drink Awards.

A recognised figure at the award-winning Downham venue, creating pub classics, creative world food and sensational seafood specials using the highest quality local produce, Antony is now joined by Neal Waterfield, general manager and Tom Venning, a junior general manager.

“I was blown away to win the Lancashire Life award,” said Antony. “To follow in the footsteps of some of Lancashire’s most renowned chefs is a huge honour and something I couldn’t have achieved without the support and talent of our amazing team of seafood soldiers.

“Having worked across the Seafood Pub Company’s 11 sites over the past few years, it’s really exciting to be based from the Assheton Arms full-time, working closely with the talented kitchen team and meeting customers every day.”

Neal, from Chatburn, began his career as a chef at Northcote before moving to London to work for the Marco Pierre White company and returning to the North to the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey where he made the move to front of house. Tom, who lives in the Yorkshire Dales, also began his hospitality career at Northcote before managing a gin bar in Skipton.

“Tom and I are really excited about building on the solid foundations already in place at the Assheton Arms,” said Neal. “There is a fantastic atmosphere at the pub and I’m sure that will only get even better the closer we get to Christmas. “Having worked in both front of house and kitchen roles, it’s great working alongside someone with Antony’s talent, experience and passion. Our customers are in for a real treat with his plans for the festive period and Tom and I are looking forward to meeting lots of them over the coming weeks.”