Ex-Smoking Goat chef keeps the home fires burning

Chef Aaron Dalton is launching a tasting-menu restaurant called Four inside his home in Worthing next month, in the hope that he can make it work on a permanent basis.

A former head chef at London’s Smoking Goat who has also worked at Chez Bruce and Simon Rogan’s Fera, Aaron was planning before the pandemic to open a restaurant featuring wood-fired cooking with his wife Sally. But their backers pulled out and Sally, a paediatric nurse, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer.

Sadly, she died shortly before last Christmas, leaving Aaron with their two children, a boy and a girl aged four and three. “My commitment to our children means I can’t work full-time in a restaurant – but I can run one from my home,” he says.

Aaron has built a sound-proofed extension with an open-plan kitchen, bar, and room for 20 guests. The opening event next month will be a special dinner for the 15 people who work at his children’s nursery, with the first paid-for meal to follow in April. In the longer term, he hopes to be able to open two or three days a week.

Meanwhile, Aaron has also lined up a series of collaborative meals in local restaurants, starting on March 1 at Dave Mothersill’s recently launched Furna in Brighton.

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