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The Bear reveals ambitious new chef

Iain Watson Steven Conner and Alex ArkelIain Watson Steven Conner and Alex ArkelThe Bear at Marlborough has taken on a new chef who is building the pub’s food offer to match the success of its bar and accommodation business.

Steven Connor, 40, who spent four years as a sous chef at nearby Silks on the Down, said: “I’m at the stage in my career when it’s time to run my own kitchen.

"The Bear at Marlborough is a fantastic town centre pub. Over the last two years the landlords Iain and liz Watson have transformed it and we’re planning to build on that success with a great new menu using local suppliers.”

It helps that The Bear is right next door to Marlborough’s best butchers, Andrews. “I visit the butchers almost daily to pick the meat I want to cook,” says Steven.

He also buys his vegetables from local supplier Arthur David.

Most chefs have a signature dish, but Steven just likes cooking good food. He began his career in Surrey before moving to the South West where he worked his way up to become a senior sous chef in a four star hotel.

His career also took him to Brazil for four years where he worked as a chef in Sao Paolo before returning to the UK and Wiltshire.

“My international experience has broadened my range and I’ve got a few favourite South American dishes which I’ll put on the menu from time to time,” he adds.

Landlord Iain Watson is delighted to have attracted Steven to The Bear. “Liz and I took over the pub around two years ago. The bar is busy and so is the accommodation. The icing on the cake for us will be a brilliant food menu too.”

Arkell’s Brewery, which owns The Bear, is also planning to refurbish the hotel’s bed and breakfast accommodation later in the year.

Arkell’s managing director, George Arkell, said: “The Bear has flourished under Iain and Liz’s management and we’re looking forward to tasting Steven’s food. With a new menu, and updated hotel accommodation later this year, the pub will have a lot more than just the ‘bear’ necessities of life.”

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