Will Holland - Chef Patron
Will worked for over a decade in Michelin - starred establishments before taking on the challenge of opening La Bécasse. He began his career at Homewood Park Hotel, Bath, where he was employed by renowned Chef, Gary Jones (now Raymond Blanc’s Executive Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons.) Gary and Andy Hamer inspired Will to develop his talent and focus on excellence from a young age. After three years at Homewood Park, Will spent over three years at Gravetye Manor Hotel, West Sussex, under Chef de Cuisine, Mark Raffan. Here, Will was taught, along with many other things, the importance of using produce from your doorstep. In 2004, Will met Alan Murchison and went to work at L’ortolan Restaurant, Berkshire. Will was one of the original team that opened L’ortolan under Alan Murchison as the business proprietor. He has worked for Alan for over 8 (happy!) years now. In early 2007, Alan Murchison bought Hibiscus Restaurant in Ludlow, the foodie Capital of Great Britain and re-opened the restaurant as La Bécasse in July 2007.
This presented Will with the opportunity of Chef – Patron and to firmly establish himself behind the stoves and really stamp his mark. La Bécasse Restaurant was soon recognized as one of the best restaurants in the country with a string of accolades and awards including - 3 Rosettes from The AA Restaurant guide, 1 Michelin Star from The Michelin Guide (2009 - 2011), 6 out of 10 from The Good Food Guide, as well as being in their “Top 50 UK restaurants” list, the highest rating from the respected Hardens UK Restaurant Guide, 34th place in The National Restaurant Award’s “Top 100 Restaurants in the UK”, 19th best restaurant in Great Britain in “The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants” list and “Best Fine Dining Restaurant” from Metro.
Chef Will Holland puts the success of La Bécasse down to his loyal and dedicated staff. Along the way, Will has picked up a few personal awards including a coveted Acorn Award which are awarded to the industry’s highest achievers under the age of 30. He was also named in The Good Food Guide’s list of their predicted “ten most influential chefs of the next decade”.
Will has appeared on a few national foodie television programmes including being a regular guest chef on James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen, beating the Hairy Bikers when they visited La Bécasse on their “Food Tour of Britain” and was the central region champion on BBC’s Great British Menu.
You can catch up with the latest news direct from the t La Bécasse kitchen on Twitter and on Will's Blog, as featured weekly in The Shropshire Star.