BEN Champkin has been appointed head chef at Teals in South Cadbury, bringing over a decade of experience to the restaurant renowned for supporting local producers.

Ben joins Teals from his most recent post as head chef at The Botanical Rooms at The Newt in a move that takes him from fine dining to natural, ingredient-led dishes with provenance.

The Somerset-born chef first made his mark when he won Young National Chef of the Year in 2013 while working for Simon Hulstone at The Elephant in Torquay.

From there, Ben honed his skills as a sous-chef at Simon Rogan's three Michelin-starred restaurant, L'Enclume, before crossing continents to spend a transformative year at the three Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, USA.

Returning to the UK, Ben assumed the role of head chef at the esteemed Michelin-starred Roganic, where his innovative approach and dedication to celebrating ingredients set him apart.

Ben says from the very first time he visited Teals its passion for local produce was clear: “Teals is an incredible showcase of the very best of Somerset.

“This provenance really chimes with my style of cooking; championing what’s on our doorstep in simple dishes that let the ingredients speak for themselves.

“It’s about flavour and texture in an unpretentious way and I can’t wait to build on this in Teal’s next culinary chapter.”

Among Ben’s signature dishes on the autumn menu are Salt baked pear, Colston Basset stilton, crisp walnuts & bitter leaves; Rainbow chard, torn Buffalicious mozzarella & anchovy dressing; and Wood fired Kuri squash, butterbeans & sage gremolata.

Ben works closely with Teal’s butchery and food market to reflect the seasons and make the most of what comes through the doors of the unique destination hub.

As well as a restaurant, Teals is a farm shop and food store set amidst the serene landscapes of Somerset. With a strong sustainability ethos, it is a place to meet, enrich, and do good.