Former Royal apprentice, now Michelin Star Chef, Sarah Hayward returned to her Island roots at The Royal Hotel in Ventnor

The Royal Hosted: Sarah Hayward

the royal hosts: sarah hayward

Former Royal apprentice, now Michelin Star Chef, Sarah Hayward returned to her Island roots at The Royal Hotel in Ventnor, which hosted a highly anticipated sold-out seven course fine dining event on Saturday 30th September.

Sarah is Head Chef at Tom Kerridge’s Michelin starred pub, The Coach, in Marlow. She recently won the prestigious and coveted Michelin Young Chef of the Year Award 2023, a remarkable achievement.

Maria Cirrone, Events Manager at The Royal said,

“The entire team at The Royal worked really hard to host the best evening possible. All her former colleagues are extremely proud of what she has accomplished to date, and it was a delight to work with Sarah again after 13 years.”

the preparation

In the month’s leading up to the event, both teams of award winning chefs worked together on creating a bespoke menu, including dishes from The Royal and The Coach.The very best Island produce featured throughout the menu including Cheverton Farm Lamb, Mermaid Gin and Living Larder Fennel and Potatoes. Each dish was carefully thought out and delicately crafted to hero these ingredients.

The menu was accompanied by carefully selected wine pairings from The Royal and a couple of recommendations from The Coach’s wine expert to accompany Sarah’s dishes.

on the day

On the day, Sarah was joined in the Royal kitchen by Tom Kerridge’s other Michelin star chefs, Warren Geraghty (Executive Chef) and Tom De Keyser (Head Chef of The Hand & Flowers). Together they collaborated with the Royal’s kitchen team, showcasing culinary skills to an audience of 100+ guests,which included her family, former colleagues and loyal customers of The Coach and The Royal.

Over 700 plates of food and 300 glasses of wine were served by The Royal’s front of house staff and experienced management team, in the full capacity Geranium Restaurant.

Sarah looks back on the night,

“It was such an honour to return to The Royal Hotel as a guest chef, cooking in the kitchen I remember so well. Those early years as a chef were really formative for me and I learnt so much from the team and will always be grateful for their support and friendship. The dinner was a huge success and it was even more special to be surrounded by my family and friends too.”

Andy Hinson of The Beach Shack,Steephill Cove and former Restaurant and Hotel Manger at The Royal Hotel had this to say,

"Fantastic evening with old colleagues and friends. Had the most fabulous food and wine. Best night out for a long time. Cheers to Nick for organising us all and Sarah and Matt and the team of chefs that put it together. Not forgetting the super service from Stefan and the front of house team."

Adam Fendyke of True Food Kitchen and former Sous Chef at the Royal Hotel spoke fondly on the evening,

"Brilliant evening socialising with true old friends . Loved every minute, from the amazing food and drink to everything about this event . This is something that I would come to every time . Superb."

sarah's background

At 16, Sarah did a one-year apprenticeship at The Royal working under Alan Staley. Nick Dobson who has been with The Royal over 20 years, fondly remembers working with Sarah in the kitchen,

“You could tell then [at16] she was going to be a great chef, she always got stuck into the less glamorous side of working in a kitchen and put in the extra effort that she didn’t have to because she had the passion and a love of good food. To have Sarah back in the kitchen cooking alongside Matt and the team. Such a special evening shared with great friends, eating some truly outstanding food.”

Sarah has worked for Chef Tom Kerridge since 2015. In 2017, Sarah joined The Coach as Junior Sous Chef, before promotion to her first Head Chef role at The Bull & Bear in Manchester’s The Stock Exchange Hotel. And now, coming full circle,is Head Chef of The Coach, the one Michelin-starred pub in Marlow.

Tom Kerridge adds,

“Sarah is a brilliant chef, she understands ingredients, techniques and what makes a great dish.”

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