The kitchen team at The Greyhound with new head chef Martin Sherriff

It’s a veritable merry-go-round of Oxfordshire’s chefs at the moment. Yet news that esteemed chef Martin Sherriff has taken over over at The Greyhound in Letcombe Regis was still a surprise.

Surprising, because the former head chef there Liam Whittle‘s reputation preceded him, having put the gastropub firmly on the culinary map, despite its rural location near Wantage.

The whole team at the front of The Greyhound with new head chef Martin Sherriff

Plus, Martin was doing a great job as executive chef of both The Black Horse in Standlake and its sister pub The Waggon and Horses in Southmoor.

But when Liam decided to move on for personal reasons, and Martin was offered the job, he jumped at the chance.

“There is a real foodie culture in Letcombe Regis and the challenge as a chef is to do them proud”

“It was such a massive compliment to be asked,” he says. “I know and respect Liam, so for owner Catriona Galbraith to come knocking on my door was amazing. It really appealed.”

Catriona and Martin at The Greyhound

Having spent a week in the kitchens learning the ropes with Liam, Martin is back in charge and he loves it at The Greyhound. “It’s already established, but if I can take it up a level and add to what Liam has already done there I’ll be happy,” he says.

“I can bring my knowledge, expertise and modern flair to ensure that we keep the food consistent but exciting. There is a real foodie culture in Letcombe Regis and the challenge as a chef is to do them proud. It’s always busy there and has a really loyal following.

“Plus the kitchen brigade is amazing, they are all really on top of it. We have a couple of fantastic female chefs too.

Female chefs Kavi and Liz at The Greyhound

So what will he change? “I’m introducing a lot more specials, vegetarian and vegan dishes, but my own first menu will be on New Year’s Eve when we are really pushing the boat out,” he says.

As for Liam, he says: “After three amazing years at The Greyhound, I have made the difficult decision to move on for family reasons, it’s been a pleasure working with a great team and I for one am proud of what we have achieved together during this time. I look forward to seeing where the business goes next under the guidance of Martin Sherriff, an already established and dynamic chef that I have huge amount of respect for. 

Liam Whittle former head chef at The Greyhound in Letcombe Regis

“As for myself, watch this space, come January I will be looking for my next challenge and will be excited to get back behind the stove, but first I will be taking December off for the first time in over 12 years to spend with my family and re-charge the batteries.”

Landlady Catriona says: “We re so sorry to see Liam go. He has been so amazing over the past three years, but we are also really excited to welcome Martin and his flamboyant food to thrill our guests.

Catriona and Martin outside The Greyhound

“We are really lucky to have secured him. We have bought hime lots of new kitchen equipment and are giving him free rein with the menu, although we are insisting he keeps the soufflés because everyone loves them,” she laughs, “and the mid-week fix menu.”

“Of course it’s bitter sweet for us because we are also losing Liam and he’s such a lovely guy.

“It’s been six years since we took over here and it’s been a challenging but wonderful experience and great to see it really busy again, so we are excited about the future and Christmas.”

The Greyhound, Letcombe Regis