Kent celebrity chef Scott Goss, who appeared on BBC Two's Great British Menu earlier this year, has opened his first restaurant in the county.
Verdigris has opened in the centre of Tonbridge next to the River Medway.
It took a year for the former head chef at The Swan in West Malling to get the project together, including financing and renovating the Victorian building, which was formerly home to The Castle pub, among other establishments over the years.
The 40 cover restaurant includes artworks by artist Caroline Smith on the walls and there is a further 40 covers on the outdoor terrace with views of the river and castle. Adjoining the restaurant is a large walnut bar offering classic and Mixology Cocktails - a first for the town - fine wine and local craft beers.
A team of 14 have worked together to launch the new restaurant and bar at 89 Tonbridge High Street.
Scott has worked with the likes of Gary Rhodes and Robert Spencer, after starting out at The Swan, under owner Peter Cornwell, before going on to be executive chef over restaurants including The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells, The Swan at Chapel Down and also chef patron at The Twenty Six in Southborough.
He said: “I had 15 fantastic years with Peter. An opportunity came up and it was time to go and do it myself. This place ticked all the boxes. I’m really excited about Tonbridge as a town at the moment.”
His new menu showcases a passion for using the best fresh seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Inspired by a vast collection of recipe books and following chefs from around the world via social media, his dishes at Verdigris are “British classics with a twist,” he says.
“We have to get the classics absolutely perfect. It is about good honest hospitality, in a relaxed atmosphere. It is fine dining without the pretentiousness. Things are getting stronger and stronger and we’ve only been open a few weeks.”
“I do what I do,” he says. “I’ve been doing it a long time now. This is about striving to be the best. It’s baby steps, especially in the first year. We need to be consistent and deliver on service every time.”
Bookings are now being taken for Christmas Day lunch and a decadent Great Gatsby themed New Year’s Eve party. To book for those events or lunch or dinner, visit verdigris-tonbridge.com or call 01732 366634.