Martin Burge hit the headlines in November 2016 after deciding to leave his post at Whatley Manor, where he had been stationed for 13 years, for pastures new. From 2009 to 2017 he held two Michelin stars and led the kitchen brigade at Swiss-owned, Cotswold-stoned Whatley down a path to industry greatness. The pastures new were not far however, for it was the Farncombe Estate in Broadway who nabbed the talent of Burge to fulfil their newly-created position of culinary director.
Here he was to head up the Estate’s three F&B locations, all positioned to offer something slightly different to the market. The Fish, the group’s stylish boutique venture, the country house hotel Dormy House and Foxhill Manor, the eight-bedroom private property, all now fall under Burge’s remit.
Luckily for him, cooking is in the genes somewhat. Originally from Bristol, his grandad was an army chef and, at the age of 16, he started as commis-chef at the Royal Crescent in Bath, before moving to the Mirabelle, Pied a Terre and Le Manoir. Then he spent six years with John Burton Race at L›Ortolan and the two-Michelin-starred Landmark Hotel.
Now at the Farncombe Estate, he is making an impact once again. Earlier this year The Fish announced that £4m was to be invested into a makeover for the whole operation and that included the launch of a new culinary venture headed up by Burge. The new seafood-inspired restaurant, Hook, opened in March and features an open kitchen, 360-degree fi re and cosy corners, with a hygge design honouring the owners’ Danish heritage.