1907 is now headed up by experienced Executive Head Chef Dean Williams who will continue the restaurant’s ethos of seasonal cooking with high quality ingredients and bring his own culinary flair to the main restaurant, the bar and the banqueting and events menus.
Williams joins 1907 after four years as Executive Head Chef at Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Golf & Country Estate, Liphook. His career path has also seen him act as Head Chef of Silvermere Inn on the Lake in Cobham, Senior Sous Chef at Loseley Park in Guildford and Chef de Partie at Morgans Hotel and Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea. Dean’s career started in 1998 with an apprenticeship with Marriott Hotels, working at London Marriott Hotel County Hall, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel and Swansea Marriott Hotel.
Originally from Swansea, Williams now lives near Guildford. His unique blend of expertise and skills, relevant experience and excitement at driving a new era at 1907 made him the perfect choice for the role.
“I look forward to continuing the hard work and innovation that has led to an outstanding reputation for 1907, which is so much more than a standard hotel restaurant,” says Williams. “As well as an indulgence for guests staying at the hotel, all the team and I also want to continue to build on the progress of welcoming non-hotel guests at weekends and especially mid-week, as well as continue the creativity and skilled work that go into Brooklands Hotel’s excellent offerings for events, celebrations, business lunches, weddings and more.”
Williams is joined by another new colleague at 1907, Valentino Gentile, newly appointed as Sous Chef. Originally from Italy, Gentile joins 1907 after ten years at La Luna in Godalming where his career developed from Sous Chef to Head Chef and Partner, as well as stints at Zinfandel in Guildford, L’Aroma in Woking and at Ristorante Del Nonno in Malaga, Spain.
Williams and Gentile’s new appointment has been endorsed by Masterchef host Gregg Wallace, who recently hosted a dining and foodie-themed event at Brooklands Hotel. “I’ve got great confidence in the head chef at 1907. There’s a lack of frivolity and he does grown-up, confident cooking. You can see it all over the menu,” said Wallace.
1907 is very proud of its location in the historic Brooklands estate, which influenced the name of the restaurant as it is the year the world famous Brooklands racetrack was built and opened. The restaurant and bar offers a stylish experience that is modern and contemporary in both ambience and service delivery within a 1920’s and 30’s décor inspired setting.
One of the first tasks Williams has undertaken at 1907 is to revitalise the menu, continuing the ethos of serving guests with honest food using local and seasonal produce, and bringing in a taste of early autumn. Newly-introduced dishes include nine new starters and mains, as well as an entirely new dessert menu of six sweet treats. The new dishes join an established list of favourites and grill choices, including cuts of steak locally sourced from a premium range of 28 day matured British beef.
To start, the new dishes are pan fried scallops and crab risotto cake served with Campari tomato coulis and salted samphire; burrata accompanied with blood peach and baby basil; and steak tartar served with baby herbs, balsamic and grilled soda bread.
Diners can choose the appropriate size from the following new dishes to start or as a main, fresh River Yealm rock oysters in red wine vinegar and shallots; split green pea risotto served with grilled courgettes, broccoli, pine nuts and pea shoots; and whole crevettes accompanied by smoked bacon and tomato bruschetta.
The three new main courses are roast sea bass fillet served with pois à la française, chorizo and mash; rack of English lamb accompanied by aubergine and red pepper compote, pine nuts, raisins and a basil crust; and pan roast loin of cod served with toasted cous cous and buckwheat, squid and clams. Newly introduced side dishes include sweet potato fries, summer greens and rainbow chard.
To finish, the dessert menu now offers a delectable light chocolate mousse joined by Malibu dark chocolate sauce, coconut sorbet, chocolate macaroon and coconut crumble; warm fig tart with a whiskey and honey sauce, vanilla ice cream and caramelised figs; pistachio and amaretto mousse served with a blackberry compote, roasted pistachios and blackberry sorbet; raspberry parfait accompanied by crushed meringue, raspberry marshmallow, lime semi gel and crisp; vanilla crème brûlée with nougatine and a mint chocolate chip sorbet; and banana cheesecake served with caramel sauce, banana sorbet, chocolate brownie crumbs, chocolate stick and caramelised bananas.
The new dishes on the menu at 1907 are joined by new cocktails at the bar, designed by the bar’s team of charismatic mixologists. Joining an already exciting range of premium cocktails are three new drinks with names that tie in to the heritage of the Brooklands site. The ethos of the mixologists at 1907 is for guests to use all of their five senses to savour the cocktail experience.
Davide Minnozzi, head mixologist at the bar at 1907 said, “Our new cocktail list includes classics created in original style and using premium spirits. Joining the classics are the Selwyn Francis Edge, the Kay Petre Iced Tea and the non-alcoholic Noel Pope, all named after stars of the Brooklands racing circuit who made incredible achievements in the dawn of the motoring era.”
1907’s Key Petre Iced Tea consists of fresh passion fruit, rum, vodka, Passoa liqueur and prosecco; the Selwyn Francis Edge is a champagne cocktail with vanilla vodka, fresh passion fruit and Passoa; and the Noel Pope is a refreshing long drink based on almond syrup, cranberry juice and lime juice.