Freemasons’ Steven Smith moves on

Chef-patron Steven Smith has left Freemasons at Wiswell, the fine-dining pub in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley that he has established as a regional star over the past 15 years.

Born and raised in nearby Blackburn, Steven plans to open a new venture in the region, although he has no concrete plans as yet.

Head chef Matt Smith is now running the Freemasons kitchen, and is expected to maintain the mix of tasting and à la carte menus.

Freemasons, near Clitheroe, is one of the most commented-on destinations outside London in the annual Harden’s survey, and is described in this year’s guide as a “fine-dining destination disguised as a pub with rooms” – “the food is superb and the wine list well chosen”.

No reason has been given for Steven’s departure, although he said his time at Freemasons had “naturally come to an end“.

He added that he was actively looking for a pub or restaurant in the region for his next project. “I have built my reputation around here, so it would be silly not to stick around.”

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