Kanwar Gurmohan has taken on the lease of The Cricketers in Windlesham, Surrey and says he is interested in pubs rather than casual dining as he believes, "this is where future growth lies."
He previously oversaw the food offer of the £25m turnover Jamie Oliver Restaurants business which incorporated cafes, bars, restaurants and casual dining outlets. Prior to that he was executive chef for the Lord Mayor of London.
The Cricketers will be Kanwar's first pub but be has plans for more, all in the home counties.
"I've got a great team lined up for The Surrey Cricketers who are looking forward to opening the doors and meeting the local community to hear first-hand what they'd like from their pub," he said.
"I want to offer the sort of independently run, unique friendly pub with great food and drink that the area deserves, to support local suppliers and to help create local jobs.
"Longer term, I'm focused on developing a pub estate with the right offer for the locality. I am interested in pubs rather than casual dining as I believe this is where future growth lies, and they provide more income streams. Pubs are more relaxing environments for families and there is more space. On the high street on the other hand competition is fierce with lots of discounting that ultimately impacts the final product sold to diners."
The Star Pubs & Bars site is getting a joint £272,000 refurb and will offer traditional pub dishes as well as many vegan and vegetarian options. A woodfired pizza oven providing authentic stone-baked sourdough pizzas and slow cooked woodchip smoked meats will take centre stage.
There are also plans to hold wine and cask ale tasting sessions, cookery classes with butchers and fishmongers, and pizza dough stretch classes.
Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director, Dugald Macer said: "The Surrey Cricketers is in a fantastic location with lots of space inside and out. It just needed the décor, food and drinks being brought up to date. It will now have these and an enthusiastic team with innovative ideas to take it forward.
"Kanwar has an extensive knowledge of food from casual dining, to cafés and grab and go. He has a passion for food and an appreciation of high standards which will result in a great local. We look forward to working with him and wish him well with The Surrey Cricketers and his plans to grow a pub estate.
"The refurbishment brings to £1.2m our investment in Surrey in the first half of 2019, part of the £50 million investment Heineken is making in pubs around the country this year."