Cross Keys Inn, Grasby
A warm welcome from all the family has been a signature of the Cross Keys Inn since Nick Barker, his daughter Steph and their partners Lisa Rutherford and Malika Garwell took over The Cross Keys Inn in March this year.
Nick and Lisa look after front and back of house while Steph is head chef, working with chef de partie, Malika plus a more recent member of their kitchen team.
Steph is a local girl, trained at Lincoln College, who has built her experience working in some of the most acclaimed hotels in the county. As her confidence grew, so did her ambition to run a business but it was Malika who spurred her to launch out on her own.
“I have to acknowledge I could not have done this without the support of the whole family,” said Steph. “We have worked very hard to offer the warmest of welcomes to local clients as well as those we are now attracting from further afield. We want guests to feel as relaxed as at home. Your table is yours for the whole service, with no rush, so you can savour the occasion, whether that be a sociable drink, leisurely lunch or evening dining.”
Steph’s menus feature fresh, local produce and take full advantage of the availability of outstanding fish, vegetables and meats from trusted suppliers.
“I love getting a phone call telling me what is at its seasonal best. It’s how my menus and dishes are evolving as we go through the year. I now buy my potatoes from a grower who visits the Inn and I’m always looking for new producers to add to the list.”
Steph’s style of cooking shows great respect for her ingredients and dishes are presented with an elegance and flair which elevates her food to fine dining, which can be enjoyed without fuss and formality. Signature dishes include Bonfire Chicken served with parsnip fondant, baby toffee apples and vegetable crisps. All desserts are homemade too, such as a chocolate torte with textures of cherries.
“We are open seven days a week so it is very busy but also satisfying professionally. Sunday Lunch as well as evenings are very popular and we are open on Christmas Day to meet demand from clients.”
The new autumn menus are now being served at The Cross Keys Inn as well as special Christmas menus during December.