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Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

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We sat down with chef Tom Brown to find out a little more about why eating at PARSONAGE 53 in Dursley is so special.

From walking into the restaurant and being warmly greeted by the staff, and admiring the much-talked about living moss walls, you are quickly intrigued by what else the restaurant could deliver. 

PXL 20240411 122239559 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53
Parsonage 53

Tom, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, including where you are today, professionally, and what got you here?

I started my career in Sidmouth, Devon and them moved to become a commis chef at Calcot Manor, where I also met my now wife Georgina.

image0 69 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

We now have two lovely children, one of them arriving on the opening night of the restaurant, and after slight concern, we arrived in time for the first customers to come through the doors.

After meeting the now general manager Graydn, at two other well-known Cotswold eateries, it didn’t take me long to lay the vision ahead and along with my father-in-law Brian, who had always wanted to open a restaurant, we saw the vacant property and the time became right to start our journey. 

image4 9 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

What’s your signature dish at Parsonage 53?

I take great pride in my beef wellington, although I do like my passion fruit soufflé, which we ran on Valentine’s week.

What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?

Seasonality and local produce. 

How would you describe your cooking style?

Simplistic, with modern techniques where required.

image5 13 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

Do you have a favourite time of year or ingredients that you look forward to working with?

Spring, when the wild garlic comes through, the rhubarb is pink, and the new season lamb. 

What is your favourite ingredient?

Chocolate! 

What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?

My knife, my first father’s day present… it doesn’t leave my section.

image3 15 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

Where’s your favourite place to dine?

Manor House, Castle Combe.

What do you think is the most overhyped food trend?

Overly gelatinous set stocks – which clearly haven’t been skimmed. 

image2 24 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

How would you describe the food you create to somebody who’s never experienced your kind of food?

Simple, clean, seasonal, while punchy with flavour.

How do you go about menu planning?

Seasonal produce from my suppliers, working with the perimeters of the flavours, and discussing with my general manager and team. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

Food has always been the passion, but I genuinely think that I would have become a binman. When I was 5, I remember just wanting to be the binman! Who wouldn’t like the big lorry and flashy lights? 

image1 37 | Meet the chef: Tom Brown, chef at PARSONAGE 53

What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?

A properly dirty burger – it has to have everything in it! 

About PARSONAGE 53

PARSONAGE 53 is a restaurant set in the centre of Dursley, open for lunch and supper, and soon to boast all day dining in their new Castle Bar opening during April.

The restaurant sets itself apart from others locally, by being the only British restaurant in the town, and ensuring that the food & drink offerings are matched well with the efficient service and eclectic décor.

Fact box

Address: Parsonage Street, Dursley, GL11 4BP

Website: www.parsonage53.co.ukinfo@parsonage53.co.uk

Socials: @Parsonage53 – Facebook & Instagram

Call: 01453 798340

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