Northumberland wedding venue welcomes renowned head chef

Wedding venue Ellingham Hall has welcomed a new executive head chef.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 16th July 2021, 4:39 pm

John Blackmore has cooked for the Queen and helped Newcastle United become the first Premier League club to feature in the Good Good Guide.

He became an apprentice at the Intercontinental Hotel in London’s Park Lane after college and worked in a number of hotels across the continent before moving back to the North East.

He set up Blackmore’s Narrowgate with his wife Penny which was awarded ‘County Restaurant of the Year’ within its first 12 months of trading.

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John Blackmore has been appointed executive head chef at Ellingham Hall.

John said: “To be awarded county restaurant of the year was such a proud achievement. We were up against some amazing restaurants in Northumberland.”

It was at this time that John really managed to put Alnwick on the culinary map.

John and Penny went on to own the Tankerville Arms, Eglingham, before John began a career at Newcastle United.

During his time as head chef of the Magpie Restaurant, John gained the biggest achievement of his career to date.

He said: “I was chosen to cook for the Queen, and that is the highlight of my career. It was in 1997 when the Queen opened the Siemens factory, and was received by Sir John Hall for lunch. She was a really nice person and it was such an honour to be chosen to cook for her.”

John, who was a commis chef for the legendary Paul Bocuse, says he is thrilled by his latest career step.

“I’m thrilled to be working with such a professional, friendly team and look forward to helping Ellingham Hall become bigger and better,” he said.

John is currently working on adapting the culinary offer at Ellingham Hall and has already delivered some exquisite dishes to couples planning their big days despite restrictions.

General manager, David Fordham-Scott, said: “I know first-hand that John is a chef of the highest calibre. I am very much enjoying working with him again.

“The rest of the team is thrilled to welcome John to Ellingham Hall. He brings a wealth of experience and exciting ideas with him.

“Although the original lockdown and restrictions were difficult, we have still managed to welcome weddings whilst adhering to government guidelines. As we emerge from the pandemic, we look forward to making the business even stronger and sought after.”

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