Bulwick chef in running for top pub cook title

A Bulwick chef has been shortlisted for the prestigious Pub Chef of the Year award for his culinary expertise.

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:55 pm
Danny Exton with his specialty eight-grain homemade bread.
Danny Exton with his specialty eight-grain homemade bread.

Danny Exton was chosen by the new owners of the Queen's Head to bring his 'imaginative and comforting' cooking style to the village pub when it reopened in November 2018.

Pub landlord and owner James Trevor, who nominated Danny for the title, said : "The pub has been restored to its glory days with Danny's food being the focal point of the burgeoning business.

"From a standing start, with zero existing customer base and no advertising or marketing costs of any kind, the Queens Head is set to turnover a healthy amount in it's first year with a small team and a five-and-a half-day opening schedule.

Chef Danny in the kitchen

"This is largely down to the quality and consistency of Danny's food. His menu is seasonal, imaginative and comforting.

"The pub was also singled out by BBC Radio Northampton, and showcased on their A-Z feature, where each letter of the alphabet is used to talk about something new and exceptional in the county as a whole, not just the hospitality industry.

"This was once again largely down to the success of Danny’s menu and the way it has been received in a county already bejewelled with fantastic pubs."

Danny began his culinary career as a pot washer in a Stamford Italian restaurant moving on to the pizza section where he learnt the art of cooking authentic pizzas and then traditional stove cooking.

The Queens Head, Bulwick

James and Danny decide the pub menu together and, using seasonal produce, chef Danny handcrafts all the dishes from scratch, including all the breads.

The 34-year-old said: "To be nominated is quite a big deal and I'm proud. It's good for the company.

"I'd like to thank James for nominating me."

Danny will travel down to the pub industry trade show, Pub20, at London's Olympia to find out if he has won.

landlord James Trevor with chef Danny Exton

Pub proprietor James, 26, added: "It's a tough trade to be in for an independent family-run business but people like Danny make it easier.

"He has also managed to make the menu diverse and approachable, whilst avoiding the trap of being long-winded.

"The Queens Head has a wood-burning pizza oven and offers authentic Napoli-style pizzas, which once again are a credit to Danny's skill-set.

"Born out of our desire to celebrate the amazing people within our vibrant sector and to recognise the great work that is happening.

The terrace

"The Pub Awards are your opportunity to prove yourself as one of the best in the business, a leader in your field."

The eight-person judging panel includes food, drink and pub experts with their votes counting as 50 per cent and the public vote making up the other half of the final total.

To vote for Danny visit the Pub Chef of the Year voting page

Voting closes at 4pm on Monday, February 3 and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 4 at Pub20, a pub industry exhibition and show at Olympia, London.

Danny Exton