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Mon 25th Feb 2013 - Breaking News - Oakman Inns boss reunites with Grand Met chairman
Oakman Inns boss reunites with former chairman of Grand Met Bob Williams; aims to create farm-to-fork beef supply: Oakman Inns and Restaurants, the award-winning operator led by Peter Borg-Neal, has added The Cook and Fillet, Kingswood, Buckinghamshire to its estate. The deal involves Borg-Neal reuniting with the former chairman and managing director of Grand Metropolitan Estates Bob Williams who was also his boss at Mill House Inns in the 1990s. The Cook and Fillet was formerly named The Crooked Billet and has been developed at a cost of £650,000 with design by Concorde BGW. The Cook and Fillet combines a destination, edge of town eatery with a farm shop specialising in locally sourced produce. Borg-Neal said: “I’m delighted to be doing business with Bob once again. He is probably the most energising person I’ve ever worked with and we both appreciate each other’s direct approach to business. Bob, and his daughter Hannah, have done a brilliant job developing The Cook and Fillet and I am honoured to have been approached to operate the premises. The farm shop element fits in with our ethos of sourcing only the best ingredients and adds another string to our bow. It is also our intention to add a farm shop to our Red Lion in Water End.” Williams and Borg-Neal had been in discussion for some time. Indeed, during the development, Oakman personnel provided technical advice to support the vision of the Williams family. Williams said: “Peter is a hugely talented operator and I am delighted to be working with him once again. I have the utmost confidence that the Oakman concept will flourish on this site.” In addition to his wide and varied property interests Williams raises beef cattle at his nearby Yeat Wood Farm and it is hoped that his produce will be available at The Cook and Fillet. Borg-Neal said: “The Yeat Wood beef is of the highest quality and we are keen to have it. There are some minor supply chain issues to solve but we will soon be serving the ultimate ‘local’ produce farmed only a stone’s throw away!” The company will now have six fully operating Oakman Inns with number seven opening in Beaconsfield in April to be swiftly followed by the re-development of The Crown and Thistle, Abingdon-upon-Thames. The Beconsfield site will be called The Beech House. The site was previously a retail unit but Oakman acquired planning permission for a change of use and for an extension. It is undergoing an £800,000 fit-out before opening.
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