An award-winning chef is preparing to open his new fine-dining restaurant on Worthing Pier this summer.

Head chef Johnny Stanford has announced he will open Tern on the first floor of the pier’s southern pavilion, which is home to restaurant Perch on the Pier, this summer.

As well as offering the finest views of the Sussex coast, the chef has promised Tern will be a produce-led restaurant where guests can enjoy high quality food centred around seasonal produce while experiencing great hospitality.

Manchester born and bred, Johnny began his career working with Paul Kitchin at his restaurant Juniper in Altrincham, before heading to Cumbria, Edinburgh and finally settling in Sussex in 2012, working as sous chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant The Pass at South Lodge in Horsham.

The Argus: Johnny's menus focus on seasonal produceJohnny's menus focus on seasonal produce (Image: Johnny Stanford)

In 2017 he took the reins at Pascere in Brighton as head chef and most recently he headed up the fine dining restaurant AG’s at Alexander House Hotel, Crawley, retaining its three AA rosettes for the last three years.

Johnny creates menus using British produce in the peak of its seasonality and says his cooking is driven by the desire to celebrate the vibrant diversity of the UK’s countryside, coastline and producers, creating plates which “sing of the seasons”. 

“I’ve lived in Sussex for almost 11 years now and so much has changed in that time,” he said.

“The food scene has exploded with new independent restaurants opening almost every month, its been amazing to see.

“On the produce side of things, Sussex has had loads of amazing producers and farmers pop up in the last few years. From Trenchmore Sussex wagyu beef to amazing vegetable suppliers like Chefs Farms, Full Circle and Shrub provisions. Chefs in Sussex are really spoilt for produce.

“Living in the 'champagne region' of the UK has its benefits for restaurants too. We have so many outstanding English vineyards that for any independent restaurants, having a bottle of English sparkling on the list is a must.”

The Argus: An example of a dish guests can expect at TernAn example of a dish guests can expect at Tern (Image: Perch on the Pier)

Johnny said he is thrilled at the opportunity to open Tern this summer and is driven to create an experience that is "sure to delight and surprise guests in equal measure".

There will be room for 25 diners and Johnny has promised guests a relaxed and informal setting with a “slick service”.

“It’s such a privilege to have this opportunity to open my own restaurant in such a prominent, beautiful and beloved place,” he said.

“The space itself is stunning and I am incredibly excited to be able to call this iconic landmark a home and to get to write another part of its history.

“The pier is such an integral part of Worthing, it’s a constant backdrop for the ever-changing high street and the ever-changing tides. It has been a huge presence in our family’s life, as I know it has for many others, with Tern we want to honour that significance with the experience we create.”