Chef Quinton takes the helm at Docklands pub

By Beth Allcock on February 9, 2013 5:59 PM |

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Fresh from manning the kitchens of boutique hotels and restaurants across the globe, Quinton Bennett has turned up on the shores of the Thames.

The 30-year-old South African said his mission as The Gun's new head chef was to improve its offering while maintaining its authenticity. He won't be "reinventing the wheel".

Specialising in modern British cuisine, Quinton said his freshly-penned menu would allow his culinary style to shine through and ingredients to speak for themselves.

One plate he's introducing as part of his new menu, which went on sale last month - smoked venison and salt-baked beetroot with goats cheese and shaved walnuts - suggests an inclination to preserve the venue's long-established association with game.

He said: "I wanted to make the move out of hotels and into restaurants. The Gun is called a gastropub but if you look at it, it's very much a restaurant with function rooms and a bar.

"We've got a 40-seat fine dining space, the bar area, al fresco dining and three function rooms that cater for big events. It's like running a hotel, just without the bedrooms. It's a challenge, but at the same time it is a challenge I am familiar with.

"I want to secure the regulars and want them to experience a better time here as well as attract some new faces. We are very well-known in the area and we have a lot of tourists visiting.

"You get lots of people googling Great British pubs and they want to come for that traditional pub experience.

"The Gun's won a few accolades and I am here to maintain that standard and hopefully get some more along the way."

Quinton grew up in a family heavily influenced by food - his father was a food and marketing distributor and his mum was "a fantastic cook".

After becoming a cook aged 16, his love of food has left a culinary trail from Johannesburg to Cape Town, back to Johannesburg and then to London where most recently, he was head chef at The Arch Hotel before heading out to Docklands.

He said: "You fall in love with The Gun when you come in - it's the scenery and the setting. I love being on the water too and I have always been an ocean person - I feel a lot more relaxed and at peace there."

Quinton will write a regular recipe column for The Wharf

Go to thegundocklands.com.

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