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'Come and support us' plea as pub gets top new chef

PUBLISHED: 08:04 19 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:29 20 January 2020

Norfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, with the owners of The Crown Inn, in Northwold, David and Janice Walton. Photo: Emily Thomson

Norfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, with the owners of The Crown Inn, in Northwold, David and Janice Walton. Photo: Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson

A well-known Norfolk chef has returned to the stove as he joins the team at a family-run village pub.

Norfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily ThomsonNorfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily Thomson

Award winning chef, Charlie Hodson, has taken on the role at The Crown Inn pub, in Northwold, which he described as a "hidden gem in the countryside" .

Mr Hodson joined the family business in October, after its owners, David and Janice Walton and their daughter Tilly Hutchinson, approached him.

The family, who are also the owners of an executive car company, said they decided to get in contact with Mr Hodson after Mr Walton had previously been his driver whilst he was filming for Channel Four's Sunday Brunch television show.

After reaching out for advice about finding a new chef, Mr Hodson put himself forward for the job.

Norfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily ThomsonNorfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily Thomson

Mr Hodson said: "I wanted to get back on the stoves, so I came over to see Janice and David and when I walked into the pub, it felt like how pubs used to feel.

"You know a good pub when you see it, the feeling and the character.

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"Most of my life I have worked for corporate entities and never really worked for a family business. It makes it very special.

Norfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily ThomsonNorfolk Chef, Charlie Hodson, has joined the team at the family-owned pub, The Crown Inn, in Northwold. Photo: Emily Thomson

"When you get to those executive chef and director roles, you get taken away and its about crunching numbers but I don't like that anymore.

"I want to focus on what's important and go back to my roots."

The well-known chef has revamped the pub's menu using only high quality, locally sourced produce.

The team is also running a pop-up curry club, which will alternate every Wednesday with a fish supper night and a steak supper club on Fridays, with the hopes of bringing in more punters.

But Mr Hodson said it is down to the community to come in and support their local pub.

He added: "Pubs across the UK are closing every week. But the more they are supported by the local community, the better it will be.

"Between me, Janice, David, Tilly and the staff we have a great team and we have some really cool plans.

"This pub is a hidden gem in the countryside and more people need to know its here."

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