A YOUNG Herefordshire chef with "immense flair and talent" is scaling the heights at a county pub after joining as a trainee.

Rising star, Owen Hanson-Green, 18, from Ivington near Leominster, has been appointed sous-chef at the award-winning Riverside Inn, Aymestrey.

Chef patron at the pub, Andy Link, who is also the Marches chef for the prestigious Slow Food Movement, said: “Owen has progressed with remarkable speed, and has shown immense flair and talent. He joined The Riverside as a trainee chef only a short time ago, in May 2021, during a difficult period. Since then he has become invaluable – developing his own dishes, and helping to shape our food, alongside senior chef, Kayleigh Luscott, and myself.


“Becoming a sous chef, and helping to maintain the standards of our kitchen, our food and enhancing our sustainable ethos at such a young age is laudable. He has a maturity well beyond his years.”

Overseeing Owens success at the Riverside Inn is chef patron, Andy Link (right). Picture: Rob Davies

Overseeing Owen's success at the Riverside Inn is chef patron, Andy Link (right). Picture: Rob Davies

Andy is very keen to nurture talent from within the ranks of his own business, and to help people flourish and progress. Andy himself started at the bottom of the ladder, setting out at The Riverside in 2006 as a kitchen porter and pot washer, while also attending college in Hereford, and going on to study business in Birmingham. Andy then climbed the hospitality ladder, eventually taking over the reins at The Riverside when the owners retired in 2016, and becoming chef patron.

Since that time, the pub and restaurant has consistently won national awards and accolades, including Great British Pub Awards Sustainable Pub 2022, Slow Food UK Best Restaurant 2021 and Visit England Best Tourism Pub.

Staff numbers have leapt from 12-24 in just four years.

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Andy said: “With big recruitment challenges in hospitality over the past few years, our aim at The Riverside is to invest in those who share our passion and dedication, and have the same values as us. Owen has these attributes in abundance and is a great example of someone who works hard and has a passion to learn, whether it’s developing new dishes for our menu or foraging for wild plants in our grounds.”

“We plan to recruit more chefs and front-of-house staff over the winter to join our small, passionate team. We look forward to teaching them about the principles of seed-to-plate food, and the amazing produce in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

“Hospitality is an important industry in rural Britain, in terms of employment,” he adds. “ For those starting out on their working life, the potential for advancement is huge. I have seen for myself the amazing possibilities out there. It is also our duty to train, mentor and develop the next generation, so that they can go on to showcase these fantastic counties, and help bring the food, outstanding natural beauty, heritage, architecture and magnificent artisan producers to a wider audience.”