As Paul and Dee’s eponymous Uttoxeter restaurant closes its doors after 12 years for refurbishment, which will see it re-open under a new and exciting format later in the year, Paul was approached by two local Stone businessmen Matt Wilcox and
Alan Appleby, who had decided to purchase and refurbish a much loved old village pub and restaurant. Matt and Alan were desperate for Paul to bring his skills and experience into making the project a success and we believe, it represents a very unique opportunity to show how a collaborative approach can rejuvenate old redundant pubs.
Matt, who is involved with a variety of youth based companies and charitable organisations in North Staffordshire called Unity, had a vision to bring this pub back to life with not only a great food and drink offering, but also wanted to ensure that it could also be financially sustainable and most importantly contribute to helping make the community a better place to live. He had all the skills to run the community side but needed someone of Paul’s calibre to help make sure that The Wheatsheaf could be put back on the map in what is regarded as a very food orientated town.
On securing the partnership with Paul Gilmore, Matt goes on to say; ‘I took a lot of time researching who the movers and shakers were in the local area, one name that stood out time and time again was Paul’s. From the first meeting with him I knew that he was the man who could establish the culinary standards that I wanted this building to deliver. His passion, knowledge and flexibility to work with such a project is second to none and I don’t think every chef would feel comfortable sharing their kitchen with people still learning their trade, but Paul was very happy to take this on! ‘
The building is a jigsaw of activity that sees the day time run a cooking project called ‘Recipe for Success’ where local marginalised young people learn and train under the watchful eye of former restaurateur Niven Ziad. This project delivers meals daily to elderly and vulnerable residents who appreciate a home cooked meal and supports other community initiatives including a luncheon every Wednesday for Staffordshire Therapeutic Intervention Group based in Stone.
Paul has worked hard to develop a business plan around the work that takes place in the day and has looked for opportunities to further enhance it by hopefully offering future work and apprenticeship opportunities for the students on the ‘Recipe for Success’ project.
‘Gilmores at the Wheatsheaf’ Paul’s new pub and restaurant concept is due to open its doors April 7th for drinks and the 10th for food. Paul says of the new venture;
‘When I first spoke to Matt I don’t think he realised that he just described a dream opportunity for me. To cook, serve beer, encourage young people to appreciate good food and to do it all in a pub in a Staffordshire village, Wow! I am really looking forward to re-establishing The Wheatsheaf in Oulton as the place to go to relax and enjoy good food and drink. You will be able to enjoy freshly cooked dishes using the best of ingredients with local sourcing and seasonality being really important. Organic beetroot risotto, Black pudding scotch egg with baked beans, Slow cooked shoulder of Staffordshire beef with buttery mash and greens, Gilmore’s infamous Bread and Butter pudding and a selection of mini desserts to tantalise will feature in the restaurant with mini basket meals and bruschettas being available in the bar.’
When asked about the addition of making a contribution to the local community and young people;
‘Being able to offer an opportunity to the young kids of Unity’s ‘Recipe for Success’ project to see what it’s like to work within my industry is just the icing on the cake. If I can give even one of these youngsters the chance to begin a career in the catering industry it will mean a huge amount to me.’
For more information please contact:-
The Wheatsheaf 01785 817580
Paul Gilmore – 07966 959966