First starting out as a kitchen porter at the age of 14, born and bred Stroudie Shaun Jones has spent most of his life in Gloucestershire, on the job in the hospitality industry. He's worked his way up through the culinary ranks, perfecting his skills in hotels like Calcot Manor and Barnsley House; family-run gastro pubs including the Falcon Inn in Poulton; and even setting up a restaurant in Bourne End at 24-years-old.
For the past four years, the local prodigy has been head chef at Burleigh Court Hotel's restaurant, The Burleigh, serving up authentic Cotswolds cuisine that champions local ingredients.
As we head towards the end of the year, SoGlos talks to chef Jones about his plans for 2024 and what diners can expect from the menu at The Burleigh in the new year.
made you want to pursue your culinary career?
After finishing school, I chose to study catering and hospitality at college, where I really found a passion for food, cooking and the hospitality industry as a whole. I now wouldn’t change it for the world.
There's lot to be said about the incredible produce available near us, on our very doorstep, and using local ingredients to their full potential is something that has always interested me.
kind of experience can diners expect at The Burleigh at
The Burleigh offers a variety of culinary experiences, spanning a relaxing coffee and grazing from the day menu to afternoon tea or our a la carte menu in the evening. Whatever you choose, it will be sourced locally, prepared skilfully and served with a smile in an oak-panelled and historic setting.
We offer Jazz Sunday lunches, live music nights, or in the summer, wood fired sourdough pizza evenings outside. We also offer more special experiences such as the Supper Club where guests dine around a long table, with a beautifully selected wine paring served with food. We even do foraging introduction lunches that involve learning how to forage, followed by a prepared foraged lunch.
Well-priced 7-course tasting menus are available every Friday and Saturday. They are a celebration of flavoursome, local ingredients cooked to perfection. Matching wine flights are available with the tasting menu which changes week by week.
would you describe the menu at The Burleigh?
We currently have two AA Rosettes and are working towards our third. Our menu is a seasonal 'farm to fork' culinary experience that changes radically month to month.
I would describe the cuisine as modern English with twists, using local ingredients where possible from suppliers. We also use a lot of ingredients from our own kitchen garden which has a unique, restored oak Victorian greenhouse. This allows us to grow unique vegetables and herbs which aren't available commercially, such as zebra tomatoes, varieties of squash and pumpkins.
We strive for sustainability, be it from foraging to using local game that is culled as part of forestry management. A great example of our sustainable meat sourcing has been using muntjac from estates within 35 miles of Burleigh.
are your personal highlights from this year's autumn menu?
I’m a sucker for a baked Alaska so a version of this on this month’s menu — it's an autumnal spiced Alaska with pistachio sponge.
New this month is a squash tartlet using all our squash from the kitchen garden; and on our mains, we have a pork duo on using pork from Quiggies Piggies. They are based in Uley and their pigs are all free to roam the field at their leisure. They produce some cracking sausages which we also use for our breakfast guests.
On top of this, we are constantly updating our vegan offering and currently have a root vegetable and potato terrine on — we have taken a lot of these vegetables from our very own garden.
What dishes do you feel are most popular with guests and what would you recommend to new diners?
One of the most popular dishes is our scallop dish. It’s a real winner — hand-dived scallops from Orkney, what’s not to like? The chateaubriand for two is permanent feature on our menu because it has a real following across the seasons. Turkey will be the favourite on our festive feasting menu which launches on Friday 1 December 2023. It is not your usual bland turkey, but a special wholesome dish using warm spices and bursting seasonal flavours.
As a starter, I would recommend the pigeon. I would always recommend either our duck dish or any of the beef dishes which are sourced on our doorstep, with veal being new to the menu this season.
Finally, everybody loves the jus we make for the beef dishes. It’s a lengthy process which takes over 24 hours whilst we simmer down healthy bone broth with all its goodness to make a rich and super tasty gravy.
sets The Burleigh at Burleigh Court apart from other restaurants?
The Burleigh offers reimagined Cotswolds cuisine that blends sustainability with authenticity, is honest, deeply satisfying and good value for money. Although serving fine food in a historic setting and offering stunning panoramic views across the Stroud Five Valleys, dining is relaxed and unpretentious.
We use the best ‘farm to fork’ ingredients and ‘garden to table’ produce the season has to offer and our meats come from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Farms. The lamb is from small farm producers in Monmouth and the Slad Valley. The Cotswolds larder is full of artisan products and produce and sourcing locally is a joy for any discerning food lover.
Our kitchen gardener forages and harvests fresh ingredients daily from our very own kitchen garden, whilst local farms and producers deliver up to twice daily — and we source within a 35-mile radius of the hotel.
there anything you’d like to introduce onto the menu going forward?
We’ll continue to experiment fusing wholesome ingredients with new and different styles of cooking.
Pheasant ragu with freshly made pasta is one of the likely candidates for the winter season; and I am soon going to introduce a cheese trolley, offering local artisan cheeses — it's something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. Watch out for it!