Masterchef runner-up Steve Barringer has his sights firmly set on making The Anchor in Tilsworth the best pub in Bedfordshire.
He and his partner Amy Watson, 21 – who are expecting their first baby next month – took over earlier this week and will be open for business at the weekend, if all goes to plan.
The 30-year-old said: “This is the only pub in the village and we want to bring it back to being a place the locals are proud of, somewhere with good food, nice beer and wine, and a relaxed atmosphere.
“We’re moving in over the shop and we’re going to run it together – we want to make it the best pub in Bedfordshire.”
Steve was inundated with offers of work after the 2011 Masterchef competition.
He accepted his dream job as head chef at Flitwick Manor, where he not only started his kitchen career washing pots, but also met Amy.
He left in June last last year so he could open his own place and promised of his new venture: “I’m going to tweak the pub classics so they’re not so heavy.
“We’re going to have a little restaurant and a nice bar area where we’ll do nibbles – tapas, snacking trays – somewhere you can go after work.”
But the former Barnfield College student isn’t ditching his fine dining background completely.
He said: “There’ll still be an element of me in some dishes, it would be stupid to change my food completely.”