We are extremely excited to be welcoming Laurie Gear, Chef-Patron of renowned restaurant The Artichoke (Old Amersham) as one of our guest chefs at our first food festival, Feast on the Farm this October.
The Artichoke first opened it’s doors in 2002. It quickly gathered a following and was being recognised by a number of food guides including the Michelin Guide and Harden’s. Unfortunately a severe fire in 2008 forced the restaurant to close, but it came back with a vengeance in 2009 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The Artichoke’s accolade collection is now pretty hefty, including:
Three AA Rosettes
AA Exceptional Wine List Award 2016/2017
Listed No 5 BMW Square Meals Top 50 UK Restaurants 2017
Top Score for 1/1 for Cooking and Service Hardens Guide 2017
Rising Michelin Star 2011
Laurie Gear grew up working in the restaurant trade and learnt his art working his way through several kitchens, notably at Coombe House, Devon, where he met his now wife Jacqueline whom he now runs the Artichoke with. Laurie’ style is a refined take on Modern European cooking, embracing seasonality, local Chilterns produce and foraged finds. One of his most popular dishes is hop-smoked trout, cured using hops from the local Chiltern Brewery. The dish has evolved over the years, with various different accompaniments, but it remains in some form. Its current incarnation comes atop a crisp, rye bread biscuit with little mounds of cucumber and lime panna cotta, ribbons of pickled cucumber and fresh broad beans.
His enforced sabbatical following the fire was even well spent, turning a tragedy into an opportunity, when Laurie completed a “stage” at the world famous Noma. He is learnt from Rene Redzepi’s innovative techniques which he was later able to incorporate into his menus in the newly re-opened Artichoke.
The Artichoke has grown considerably since it’s humble beginnings, ironically extending into the next door premises where the fire started to now include an open kitchen, Chef’s tables and private dining room. 2012 saw The Artichoke celebrate it’s tenth anniversary in style, welcoming top guest chefs culminating in a chance for Laurie to cook alongside Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons- quite the achievement.
The Artichoke may be highly acclaimed, but at heart it remains a small family run operation, who are extremely proud of what they have achieved but are constantly looking to evolve. The restaurant offers a series of menus including a Five Course Lunch Tasting and a Seven Course Tasting Menu both offered with optional wine pairing.
Laurie will be appearing on our chef’s stage at Feast on the Farm on Saturday 14th October.