Cooking with Pierre Rigothier – video
To mark the hotel’s first five years, Jesmond Dene House is offering a special-price, five-course tasting menu this month which features some of guests’ favourite dishes during that time.
JesmondLocal sneaked down to the hotel’s basement kitchen to watch head chef Pierre Rigothier rustle up something from the menu:
Rigothier, who has a Michelin-starred background, joined the hotel in 2008. The restaurant was awarded three AA rosettes in 2009 and has also been nominated as one of the best restaurants outside London.
Guests have included celebrities such as the Hairy Bikers, Simon Cowell, Patrick Stewart, Bryan Ferry and Robson Green as well as a host of sports people, including the Match of the Day presenters.
Since opening, the hotel has been awarded four red stars, three AA Rosettes, North East Tourism Gold Winner 2008 and, in the same year, was named AA Hotel of the Year. “We wanted to create a place with a unique experience: style, real quality and a genuine warmth,” explains marketing manager Nicky Sherman who, as the first member of staff, knows the hotel better than anyone. “A place where everyone could feel welcome, whether it was a special occasion or just meeting friends for coffee.”
The hotel has retained many of its original members of staff, including concierge Bryan Wilson, housekeeper Linda Collins, maintenance man Alan Campbell and general manager Eric Kortenbach. “From the beginning, we set out to offer exceptional levels of service and comfort but I know from my own 20-odd years in the business how hard that is to achieve, and to achieve consistently,” says Kortenbach. “Without a shadow of a doubt, it is down to our staff – their hard work, dedication and determination.”
Looking ahead, Kortenbach says the hotel will build its social networking activities. Rigothier already has a following on Twitter and the hotel will soon have a presence on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
September’s five-course tasting menu is available for £45 – the usual tasting menu price is £55.