Simpson has worked for Jacob Kenedy at Bocca di Lupo since 2014, having joined the Italian restaurant as chef de cuisine. He has also worked for Jeremy Lee alumni at both the Blueprint Café and then Quo Vadis.
“I’m really excited to join the fantastic team here at The Rectory,” he says.
“It’s a fabulous hotel and such a gorgeous dining room. I’m looking forward to being able to use produce from the kitchen garden, and from the fields and farms around - we already have venison shot locally on the menu and lambs from Alex’s mum. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to work in tune with the seasons and the local terroir”.
The Rectory is a Georgian manor house hotel that was bought by Alex Payne in 2016 and reopened in summer 2017 after an extensive refurbishment. Also owned by Payne, The Potting Shed pub sits across the road from the hotel.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Jake’s cooking for some time and convincing him to come and work with us at The Rectory is something I’m very proud of,” says Payne.
“I’d like to think what he does in the kitchen is perfectly aligned with our discerning but non-glossy take on quality dining and warm and joyous hospitality. Jake has come into the business like a breath of fresh air but with a strong sense of purpose.
“I’m very much looking forward to working together over the coming months and years, taking the business forward to new heights.’
Simpson is joined in The Rectory kitchen by James Erasmus as sous chef, who has previously worked at two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, The Woodsman, and spent four years as sous chef at The Harwood Arms.