Michelin-starred and multi-award-winning chef Will Brown has been appointed Chef de Cuisine at Co Down’s newest luxury accommodation facility.
Celebrated culinary pro Will Brown will run the kitchen at The Yard Restaurant at Castlewellan’s Hillyard House.
Will came up with a menu that would be “rich in local produce and aligned with the farm-to-fork and foraging strategy that supports a truly sustainable food industry here, one that is more environmentally friendly. and celebrates the best food on our doorstep – supporting local suppliers and working with local people, ”according to a representative.
The property’s menu, which is now open for business, includes local specialties such as Carnlough Bay oysters, flax-fed beef, Castlewellan tomatoes, Dundrum Bay mussels, Morne lamb, potatoes. Comber land and more.
Will began his illustrious career at the age of 17 when he worked under the direction of Marco Pierre White at the Mirabelle in Mayfair.
He returned to Belfast where he trained in Roscoff with Paul Rankin before moving to London where he worked in two Michelin star The Square in Mayfair, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and The Glasshouse for Bruce Poole.
Among his prestigious guests, he can count Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Schiffer. Will also performed in the Great British Menu.
He is known locally for his gastronomic charm as a chef at the award-winning former family business, The Old Schoolhouse in Comber.
Speaking about his new role at Hillyard House, a £ 3million Forest Park Development Group project, Will said:
“I am delighted to take on the role of Head Chef at Hillyard House Castlewellan.
“I recently moved to live in Castlewellan with my two sons, Harry and Jackie.
“It’s a really beautiful place and Hillyard House is the perfect platform to excel in my career.
“The restaurant is beautiful and I am fortunate to have some of Ireland’s finest produce on our doorstep. We source locally and cook in a simple but elegant way.
“Our customers can count on consistently high quality food based on the ingredients to which they refer. “
Mr. Brown will be supported by a team of 12 chefs and the new Executive Director Suzanne Kidd.
Located right next to Castlewellan Forest Park with the towering Morne Mountains as a backdrop, Hillyard House had a soft launch just a month before the Restricted Trade pandemic.
Today he has fully launched every element of the property, including its 20 rooms, the 90-seat The Yard restaurant and the Mrs Coleman bar.
Representing a £ 3million investment, Hillyard House Castlewellan has created 11 full-time and 26 part-time jobs. Its creation was supported by an offer of support of £ 300,000 by Invest Northern Ireland.
It enjoys close access to the charming Castlewellan Forest Park, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. It also benefits from the proximity to Newcastle, Co Down.
Speaking about the appointment of Mr Brown and the resumption of business, Mark O’Higgins, COO of Hillyard House, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Will to the Hillyard House Castlewellan team. Her nomination allows us to fully open to the public with a bang, offering the best of local food for the whole family complemented by the most beautiful environment to be found here.
“Hillyard House is a true celebration of all that is great about Northern Ireland. It is a place of rest, relaxation, sustenance and indulgence for those seeking a romantic getaway for two or a family getaway. He really has it all and having Will as our chef reinforces the fact that we offer the best of the best in Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming our guests from near and far and to bringing the word that Hillyard House Castlewellan is open for business.
John McGrillen of Tourism NI added, “Hillyard House is a fantastic new addition to the Mournes area tourism product.
“It is ideally located at the gates of Castlewellan Forest Park to meet the needs of the growing number of people who visit here to explore all of the activities available in the park and in the wider Mournes area.
“High quality local food and drink is now an integral part of our tourism offering and it is great to see Will Brown join the team here as he will provide a dining experience that lives up to the fantastic produce and landscape they come from. . “