Former Heston chef in charge of kitchen ops at newly-launched pub venture

Simon King, owner and Matt Larcombe, chef director

Former Gordon Ramsay Group operations chief Simon King has formed a new hospitality venture – and his first job has been to bring in an acclaimed exec chef to launch its first pub.

Mr King set up Igniting Hospitality at the back end of last year and confirmed today that he will open The Victoria in Oxshott, Surrey, in July.

Matt Larcombe, former head chef and general manager at The Crown at Bray, has joined the company as chef director.

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The duo have pulled together a stellar team of experienced individuals and have worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal, JKS and Union Square Group.

They aim to make The Victoria a pub for the community while offering a dining experience worthy of the team’s credentials with a menu of elevated and expertly sourced takes on British favourites, crafted by Mr Larcombe and his chefs.

An expansive charcoal grill has been installed in the kitchen to support the meat offering on the menu, which includes locally sourced beef from bavette to salt-aged tomahawk.

Mr Larcombe began his career in the kitchen of a small independent hotel in his home town in South Yorkshire, before getting his first taste of a large hotel chain at the Four Seasons in Dublin.

In January 2011, he joined the team at Heston Blumenthal’s The Crown at Bray as sous chef and within three years was made head chef.

For the last three years, he has worked alongside the likes of Jonny Lake and Ashley Palmer-Watts developing new projects as chef and general manager at The Crown, as well as being part of the team that launched the hugely successful Pub in the Park with Tom Kerridge, in which The Crown took part under his guidance.

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Andrew Seymour

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