Stephen Harris at last night's awards

Our book helps The Sportsman become Best Gastropub (again)

Why Stephen Harris thinks his great Phaidon book helped him go from number two last year to number one this

What helps a chef stay on top? Hard work, innovation and luck are all useful. However, no one should underestimate the effect of a well-received cookbook.

In 2016, Stephen Harris’s award-winning gastropub the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, took the number one spot at the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards, a well-respected rundown of British pubs serving high-quality food from William Reed, the people behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Unfortunately, the Sportsman slipped to second place last year, giving way to the Star Inn in North Yorkshire.

However, the 2018 list has just been published and the Sportsman is back on top. What does Harris account for his fall and rise? His Phaidon book. “I expected a slow drift down, so I’m very surprised,” he said at yesterday's awards. “I think the book might have helped us a bit this year; we had a lot of attention.”


The Sportsman
The Sportsman

For more on Harris’s beautifully simple, very English cookery and the pub where he makes it, order a copy of the Sportsman here.