THE Weavers Shed at Golcar has won several accolades over the years.
But proud owner Stephen Jackson now has more reason than ever to celebrate; his fine food eatery has just been crowned the best in the North-East.
Chef Stephen– who writes a weekly food column for the Examiner– was delighted to find out that his restaurant, which he co-owns with wife Tracy, won the search for the best independent food establishment run by the Which? Good Food Guide.
The award, which recognises excellence and good service, was voted for by the public and the Golcar restaurant came top in the North-East region.
Stephen said: “It’s a fantastic award to achieve. It especially means a lot to us because it’s voted for by the public, because at the end of the day the most important thing is what they say.
“We always take on board what our customers have to say and this award tells us that what we’re doing is right.
“It’s a brilliant achievement and hopefully business will continue to grow off the back of this.”
Stephen and Tracy have been the owners of the Weavers Shed, a former cloth finishing mill built in the 18th century, since 1993.
As well as the restaurant there are five bedrooms.
Stephen trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London and heads the team in the kitchen.
The team works hard to create menus of modern British cuisine, with influences from countries such as Italy and France.
As well as providing a stunning setting for customers to dine in the restaurant is famous for its dishes, which are created using locally-sourced ingredients.
Indeed, many are made using fruit, vegetables and herbs freshly grown in the restaurant’s own kitchen garden.
Stephen said the restaurant’s self-sufficiency drives the business and is something which really stands out with customers.
He added: “We grow a lot of the produce ourselves and where we can we try to source everything else locally. This is something we started doing before a lot of other restaurants in the area.
“The customers like to know the food is from local suppliers and that we are doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The Good Food Guide award is the latest in a string of awards that Stephen’s restaurant has won over the years. They include the Catey Award, the culinary Oscar, for its marketing strategy.
The restaurant also regularly features in food guides and will now feature in the 2009 Good Food Guide.
Elizabeth Carter, who edits The Good Food Guide, commented on the restaurant: “The Weavers Shed is a well-deserved winner of the regional award.
“Stephen Jackson’s sensibly compact menus identify those dishes created with pickings from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden, orchard, or from the wild, while fish and seafood are from sustainable stocks.”
The Weavers Shed is now set to compete with nine other regional winners for the prestigious title of Restaurant of the Year award.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in the British Museum in London on June 17.