Top 50 Gastropubs

Adam Bennett

Inspired by classic British and French cuisine

What got you into cooking?

Initially, it was the fact I loved eating but then I fell in love with the process. Working with great produce takes me back to my Grandad’s allotment and bringing a dish together still gives me a great buzz.

Why take the Gastro pub route?

The Cross as a gastropub is the perfect setting for the vision we had of bringing many years of fine dining experience to an informal, welcoming setting - giving our guests the very best of both worlds.

Which country has the best food?

I love British food first and foremost but I find most of Europe fascinating. Working in both France and Germany really opened my mind at an early age. 

I love the simplicity of the Italian kitchen and the techniques of French haute cuisine.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

I love that our industry is ever changing and with the right mindset you can learn every day.

Working with younger chefs, seeing them develop and go on to succeed in their own careers.

Happy customers is the ultimate reward.

Favourite place to eat in the UK

It’s difficult to choose one as there’s such strength and depth now in the UK.  If I had to choose, The Ritz and The Ledbury really stand out.

Biggest influence

In person - Anton Mosimann, working at The Dorchester in The Terrace restaurant was a huge turning point, the precision and quality of Chef Mosimann’s cuisine was a huge influence.

Through their books and admiration from afar; Alain Ducasse and Phil Howard.

What does being in the Top Gastropubs mean?

Being recognised as a top UK Gastropub is a tangible reward for the sheer effort that our teams put in at The Cross - they can walk a bit taller. It also puts us on the map for those who may not be local but looking for somewhere special to dine.

What would be your advice to your younger self?

Travel a lot, taste a lot. Believe in yourself and set your own agenda.

Tea or coffee?

It has to be tea first thing in the morning but then coffee for the rest of the day.

What is the future for gastropubs?

Despite the difficult times the world is facing at the moment (or even because of them?) people really want the experience and temporary escape that great food and service can offer. As an optimist I see a bright future for all the gastropubs that put their heart and soul into their projects.

Key Facts

The Cross reopened after a refurbishment in 2013, gaining a Michelin star within its first year under the management of owner Andreas Antona and chef director Adam Bennett.