Emily Watkins – Executive Chef/Owner at The Kingham Plough
Emily Watkins knew from an early age that she wanted to be a chef. Beginning her career in Italy, she worked in some of the best restaurants before returning to the UK where she worked alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, learning many of the innovative cooking techniques she continues to use today.
In 2007 Emily and her husband, Miles, opened The Kingham Plough. Their aim was to create somewhere that they themselves would like to visit; excellent modern British food and comfortable rooms set within a warm and relaxed environment. Traditional English dishes are created using modern techniques and locally sourced ingredients are used where possible and even celebrated, at the annual Kingham Plough Food Festival every May.
The food quickly gained critical acclaim and has been awarded numerous accolades including 2 AA rosettes, which it has held since 2010. This year, The Kingham Plough climbed twenty-five places from last year’s initial entry in the UK’s top 100 restaurants at the National Restaurant Awards. It is also listed in “The Times 25 Best Country Pubs for Food” and was voted “Oxfordshire Dining Pub of the Year” by the 2015 Good Pub Guide. In 2014 Emily was voted “Cotswold Food Hero” at The Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards and was one of four finalists on BBC’s Great British Menu, cooking her fish course “Fight them on the Beaches” at the banquet at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Emily regularly performs live cooking demos across the UK and is a regular fixture at The Big Feastival and Ludlow Food Festival. She has also appeared on Channel 4’s Waitrose Weekend – keep your eyes open for another appearance this summer on prime time television.
Today, Emily and her talented team continue to build on the reputation she has worked hard to establish and doing what she loves most – cooking at The Kingham Plough.