New Head Chef at the Kings Arms
For James Miller, the new Head chef of the Kings Arms Hotel, working in Abergavenny is as much a homecoming than just the beginning of a new chapter in his culinary journey.
Having started out as a commis chef in Abergavenny, James has had a wonderfully varied and successful career, in which he has worked abroad and owned his own hotel and restaurant. Before heading to London in 2019 to help open a new dining concept in Pimlico, James was Head Chef at the Raglan Arms in Llandenny, where he achieved an AA rosette. This is a standard he’s gained across the majority of the kitchens he’s managed, along with a coveted Michelin’s Bib Gourmand whilst at the Lough Pool in Ross on Wye– “[a listing] signifying a restaurant delivering a high quality dining experience at a reasonable price.”
This morning, as we chat, James is busy creating his handmade faggots, which quickly sold out as one of his daily specials.
“My trademark is produce that is fresh, seasonal and as local as possible. Then I like to be as innovative as I can in its presentation giving it a modern British / European feel.” says James.
This philosophy is already fully evident as James having been in the role only a matter of weeks, has already introduced a new lunch and dinner menu. He is keen to emphasise that he shares the Kings philosophy of “something for everyone” at lunch to a more “indulgent” experience at dinner, whilst still retaining a relaxed, informal setting. Starters (that are available at lunch as well as dinner) feature a classic confit duck leg rillette, chef’s apple and pear chutney, that sit alongside “House dishes” such as spicy harissa buttermilk chicken burger, sriracha mayo, available at both lunch and dinner to a dinner offering of Cornish Halibut, Butternut puree and wild mushrooms. Both menus have already received rave reviews from regular customers and new diners alike.
But now the focus has moved onto Christmas. “When I arrived the Christmas party nights were already full, so we added an extra night, which already only has limited space left. I’ve personally produced the menus for the Boxing Day Buffet and for New Year’s Eve – both of which I am extremely pleased with and looking forward to delivering.”
With James’s emphasis on seasonality, provenance and freshness, there will be plenty to look forward to in 2020 at the Kings Arms Hotel, so be on the look-out for new menu launches in the new year: particularly, a tasting-menu event planned for the spring, co-hosted by Bibendum wines.