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Reigate restaurant La Barbe introduces new French head chef, Patrick Brandao

PUBLISHED: 16:53 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 05 April 2017

Patrick Brandao and his team at La Barbe in Reigate (Photo: Grant Melton)

Patrick Brandao and his team at La Barbe in Reigate (Photo: Grant Melton)

©Grant Melton Photography 2017

One of the area’s leading French restaurants, La Barbe in Reigate has been serving the Francophiles of Surrey for more than 35 years – and now there is a new head chef at the helm.

La Barbe's new head chef, Patrick Brandao (Photo: Grant Melton)La Barbe's new head chef, Patrick Brandao (Photo: Grant Melton)

Hailing from Biarritz in South West France, Patrick Brandao trained at L’Ecole Hotelière de Biarritz, which brought him into contact with such celebrated chefs as Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire, before spending two years in Switzerland at acclaimed restaurant Auberge Aux 2 Sapins in Montricher.

He then went on to join the brand-new restaurant L’impertinent back in Biarritz, where he started out as pastry chef and progressed to sous chef, and within 10 months they had achieved their first Michelin star.

Having joined La Barbe in February, Patrick promises exquisite French flavours in the relaxed and welcoming setting that people have come to know and love.

“My vision is to take the very best of traditional French cooking while also adding a modern twist,” says Patrick. “I believe in using the finest ingredients possible and, in order to do this, it’s very important to work closely with our suppliers and to be in constant contact with them.

“In addition, I like to try and source locally whenever possible – for example, our meat comes from Ye Village Butchers in Walton-on-the-Hill – and, as I get to know the area better, I am looking forward to sourcing more of our ingredients from around Surrey.”

Inspired by his background on the Atlantic coast, Patrick will also be featuring some seafood specials on the menu, including his favourite dish of octopus, as well as changing recipes based on what’s in season.

He is also a big fan of using high-quality olive oil, which he compares to wine in terms of the subtleties of flavour, ranging from “peppery to lemony”.

“Coming to La Barbe has been a dream come true,” adds the 30-year-old. “It’s fantastic to be joining such a well-established and well-loved local restaurant.”

On that note, La Barbe will be hosting a celebratory party later in the year to commemorate its 37th anniversary, while other events coming up include special menus for Easter and Father’s Day and a big event to mark Bastille Day.

- La Barbe, 71 Bell Street, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7AN. For more information, visit www.labarbe.co.uk

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