Zack’s back to take on hotel’s head chef role

TOP TRIO: Head chef Zack Deakins, left, with owner James Buckle, centre, and outgoing chef Chris Lee.
TOP TRIO: Head chef Zack Deakins, left, with owner James Buckle, centre, and outgoing chef Chris Lee.

The award-winning Bildeston Crown has a new head chef, Zack Deakins, who is returning to the restaurant after nearly two years away.

He was previously Bildeston’s senior sous chef and, after a stint working away from the acclaimed restaurant, has come back to take over from Chris Lee, head chef for 10 years.

Chris and his wife Hayley have left to be part of a pub consortium in the region.

Bildeston Crown owner James Buckle said: “We are sad to see Chris and Hayley go. After 10 years, they are quite simply family and, as such, we have to appreciate their decision and the need for a new challenge.

“Zack is Chris’ natural successor. He knows the team, the culture and the values.”

Zack has been head chef at Le Talbooth, a restaurant in Stratford St Mary near Colchester, for the last 18 months.

Before settling in Suffolk, he was a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Edinburgh.

Mr Deakins said: “Head chef at The Bildeston Crown is quite simply my dream job. While I very much appreciate all the experiences of the past 18 months, I know it will feel really good to be back in the kitchens at Bildeston.”

The Bildeston Crown has won a number of awards for its food and accommodation.