A NEW Forest pub has appointed a new head chef.

Thomas Sheppard, who has previously worked in other New Forest eateries and in Southampton, has been named head chef at Monty's Inn in Beaulieu.

New dishes will include blackened garlic chicken Kiev, lamb Barnsley chop with kohl rabi and garden mint, and nettle gnudi, with sunflower seeds, preserved tomatoes, chard and nettles from the hotel garden.

Mr Sheppard said: “The focus at Monty’s Inn is firmly on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, and this is something I am passionate about.

“We grow our own fruit and vegetables in our kitchen garden and use local suppliers from the coast and countryside around the New Forest and Hampshire.

“I am looking forward to working with the brilliant kitchen team, creating delicious new dishes that take advantage of the fantastic local produce available to us.”

Tom started his career in hospitality at Turtle Bay in Southampton, where he developed his essential skills and passion for food.

With over a decade in the industry, the pub says Tom has a flair for flavour and loves locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

His menu will offer traditional British classics with a modern twist showcasing creative flavours and textures.

He joined The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu – part of the same company as Monty’s Inn – as a chef de partie in 2010, and then moved on to The Pig in Brockenhurst, where he started in 2014 and rose through the ranks to the role of sous chef.

James Hiley-Jones, Managing Director of Greenclose Hotels, which runs The Montagu Arms, Monty’s Inn and Careys Manor, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tom back to our company in his new role as head chef at Monty’s Inn.

"Tom brings his passion for local, seasonal ingredients to his role, and has a clear vision for what he wants to achieve at this beautiful traditional country pub. I’m very excited to see what lies ahead.”