Restaurant Interlude wins First, Coveted Michelin Star!
Restaurant Interlude has won its first MICHELIN Star
The announcement came at the awards for the UK and Ireland 2020 MICHELIN Guide, Monday 7 October.
Set within the historic Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens estate near Horsham in West Sussex, Restaurant Interlude is believed to be the first UK restaurant associated with its own vineyard to win a MICHELIN Star. It was the only Sussex restaurant to win its first star at the 2020 awards.
This is an extraordinary achievement as we have only been open for a year. Also, our Executive Chef Jean Delport is one of the youngest ever winners of the award, aged 31.
In just a short time, Jean has acquired extensive experience, having trained and won awards at the prestigious Zevenwacht Chef School in his native South Africa. Before going on to develop his skills for several seasons in Ireland.
Leonardslee owner Penny Streeter OBE appointed Jean to open the restaurant 18 months ago when he helped to develop the new kitchens at Leonardslee House.
Jean Delport is fast developing a reputation, locally and nationally, as an innovator, continually refining his own original menus, personally selecting only the best local ingredients from suppliers he knows and visits regularly.
So what can visitors expect when they dine at Interlude?
On arrival, you are greeted by Anya or one of the other friendly staff, in the grand hallway of Leonardslee House, with music from the self-playing piano, and drinks in the bar. Guests are then seated at around 7pm in the restaurant. They enjoy multiple courses, with views across the gardens, down to the valley below, and over to the South Downs.
The restaurant’s tasting menu is inspired by the Grade I Listed woodland gardens with ingredients foraged or grown on the 240-acre estate. Other produce is sourced from selected local farms.
Diners can feast on a seasonal menu that might include: estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal; fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry; or oyster, foraged greens and juniper.
Jean Delport manages a team of seven kitchen staff.
Penny Streeter OBE opened the restaurant on October 19th 2018 after 18 months’ extensive restoration of the Grade II Listed mansion house and the creation of new kitchens. Her Benguela Collection vineyards and hospitality group includes the 400 acre Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate, located three miles from Leonardslee, and the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate in the Walker Bay region of South Africa.
Executive Chef Jean Delport formerly worked with owner Penny Streeter at her restaurant in Somerset West, Cape Town for several years. Jean trained and won awards at the prestigious Zevenwacht Chef School in South Africa. With a background in classical French and English cooking, including several seasons in Ireland, he is noted as an innovator, changing and improving upon his own menus and selection of ingredients regularly.
Chef Ruan Pretorius began his career, and was finally head chef at restaurant Terroir in the Cape winelands in South Africa. Terroir is one of South Africa’s most decorated restaurants, in the top 20 of the country for 19 years running. He decided to join Jean Delport in the UK to meet an exciting new challenge at Restaurant Interlude.