Top 50 Gastropubs

Alex Parker

Get to know the head chef of The Beehive in White Waltham

What got you into cooking?

I first discovered cooking with my Nan when I was about 5 years old. I remember making omelettes with her and her teaching me how to make cakes and decorate them.

Why did you choose the gastropub route?

I love being able to cook any type of food, any cuisine and give it a modern twist or take, working in a gastro pub allows you the freedom to cook whatever you want. Pubs are such a flexible thing, you don’t have to have tablecloths or stuffy service, it can be free flowing, fun, relaxed and cosy.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

I love the social side of it, working with people all the time, having fun, laughing, but I also love how the industry is like one big family.

I could message someone in a different restaurant about a supplier or some producer that I’ve never met or spoken to before and they’re happy to help out, recommend or even sort a contact out, it’s great!

Where’s your favourite place to eat in the UK?

Ynyshir by Gareth  Ward. Just amazing, the food is out of this world!

Who’s your biggest influence?

My biggest influence was one of my best friends Luke Henderson. For those that knew Luke, they’d know how much of a perfectionist he was, but my god he was just so good at everything. He worked so hard and got so far, he set up a couple of Restaurants in Norway, worked at some amazing restaurants and he was always so kind and nice, yet skilled and professional. 

What does being a Top 50 Gastropub mean to you?

It means the world to me and my team, to be part of something so special and unique. To be one of 50 restaurants in the UK is an amazing achievement 

What advice would you give to an aspiring chef?

Pick a pub or restaurant wisely, you want to be with a team that want to develop as a family and improve and push each other, and when it gets hard don’t give up, and when your down that’s when your kitchen family will pick you up and drive you forwards. It’s all about playing one part of a well-oiled machine that works all together.

Best country for food?

I think the United Kingdom, we have such a diverse range of foods, from Japanese to Indian to British to Italian we have it all!


What do you think the future holds for Gastropubs?

I think the future holds a lot for gastropubs, People are a lot more select with where they eat these days and how much they pay, we sit in the middle.

We can serve modern contemporary food at affordable prices, with unique flavours and relaxed dining, or you can just come in for a pint and a scotch egg!