New challenge for young chef

Simon Duncan

Simon Duncan

First published in Business Matters

A TALENTED young chef has been made a franchisee at the age of 24 after being headhunted.

Former City College Brighton and Hove catering student Simon Duncan will be head chef of the Preston Park Tavern.

He was scouted by pub general manager Ben Murray and will take charge of six staff serving around 500 customers a week.

At just 21, Simon was made head chef of highly-rated Kemp Town restaurant Sam’s of Brighton with three successful years at the brasserie.

Simon Duncan said: “Becoming a franchisee/head chef has been a massive challenge – completely different to working for someone else.

“As well as being head chef, you’re taking on a lot of added responsibilities such as managing and paying your staff, organising supplies and dealing with accounts.

“Working in the industry has been a rapid learning curve but I’ll always give City College a lot of credit when it comes to my work ethic.

“I found that I was able to reach a level of maturity at the college because there’s mutual respect between the students and the staff.”

Since taking on his new role Simon has employed two other former City College catering students, Stuart Teague and Blake Chrysantho, as commis chef and sous chef respectively.

The Preston Park Tavern has gone from strength to strength since its refurbishment in March this year, its popularity exceeding the manager’s expectations.

Ben Murray said: “I’d worked with Simon when he was only 18 and I could see he was in a different class to young chefs I’d encountered before.

“His passion, dedication and motivation were outstanding and I’d hoped that we would get a chance to work together again.

"When I took over as general manager at the Preston Park Tavern, I immediately thought Simon would be the ideal person to run our kitchens.

“I knew that his attention to detail, understanding of flavours and commitment to using the best ingredients would appeal to our customers.

"I’m delighted with the direction the pub is going in and see Simon as being key to our success in the future.”

Comments (4)

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2:14pm Tue 2 Sep 14

s&k says...

Excellent food and beers - and not too badly priced.
Excellent food and beers - and not too badly priced. s&k
  • Score: 2

3:43pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Good Luck! Although statistically you are three times more likely to go bust than any other business in the UK.
Good Luck! Although statistically you are three times more likely to go bust than any other business in the UK. Valentinian
  • Score: -1

9:56am Wed 3 Sep 14

Notters_Seagull says...

s&k wrote:
Excellent food and beers - and not too badly priced.
But nothing compared to what it was.
[quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: Excellent food and beers - and not too badly priced.[/p][/quote]But nothing compared to what it was. Notters_Seagull
  • Score: -1

10:19am Thu 4 Sep 14

PatHeard says...

There are quite a few porky pies in this article.

Ben Murray to my knowledge never worked with Simon Duncan before. If he did, I would be interested to know where???

Also, Simon wasn't the first choice for The Preston Park Tavern. I heard that they wanted to keep the previous chef on from the old owners but he turned them down.

All in all, just corporate spin....
There are quite a few porky pies in this article. Ben Murray to my knowledge never worked with Simon Duncan before. If he did, I would be interested to know where??? Also, Simon wasn't the first choice for The Preston Park Tavern. I heard that they wanted to keep the previous chef on from the old owners but he turned them down. All in all, just corporate spin.... PatHeard
  • Score: -4
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