Leon Smith Takes Up the Reins in the Kitchen at The Oak

We are delighted to welcome back Leon Smith as Head Chef.


Leon, was Senior Sous Chef at The Royal Oak under James Bennett.  He left to head up the kitchen at the Artist Resident’s new opening; Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms, where he quickly gained 2 AA Rosettes and national critical acclaim.  Previous to his position at The Royal Oak, Leon was Senior Sous at Josh Eggleton’s Pony and Trap.

Leon said “I’m really excited to return to The Royal Oak Paley Street as it’s one of the finest pubs in the UK. I loved my time as a sous here and I am looking forward to pushing my career to the next level. I have the desire and determination to improve their already glowing reputation.

The food will very much carry on with the ethos of fantastic ingredients, seasonal produce and great tasting dishes. It’s something that attracted me here before I started, and it’s something that I intend to carry on with touches from my own experiences.

Nick Parkinson said “It’s always good to hire someone who understands the philosophy and style of food on which our reputation is built.  Every chef brings something new which nourishes and develops the Royal Oak portfolio further.  You can never afford to stand still in this business.  Leon brings a wealth of experience; I know he will be a great asset to the Oak and I’m really excited to be working with him”.

About The Royal Oak Paley Street

Welcome to The Royal Oak. Behind the smart black and white frontage lies a warm and stylish 17th century pub. Once inside the beamed ceilings, wooden floors and friendly welcome soon confirm you’re in the right place. The Royal Oak is a restaurant styled pub serving great British food cooked to perfection. Our extensive wine list boasts some impressive titles and offers something to suit all palates and purses – and rest assured; we haven’t forgotten how to pull a good pint!
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