Juniper’s Pantry owner takes over kitchen at Sunderland pub

TOP GRUB: David Gill with his tasty treats.
TOP GRUB: David Gill with his tasty treats.
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HE’S cooked for royalty and the political elite, but now a city chef has a new goal as he prepares to cook up a storm at a popular pub.

David Gill has had much success in the city with his Juniper’s Pantry deli in Barnes and sister deli in Sea Road, Fulwell.

Now, as part of his aim to create a Wearside independent culinary chain, he’s taken over the reins in the kitchen at The Cavalier, Silksworth.

The chef - who’s cooked for royalty and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy at a top restaurant in Switzerland before moving back to open his own business in his home city - says he’s looking forward to making his mark at the pub.

“I see this very much as an extension of Juniper’s,” he said. “I will be overseeing the kitchen in all three, so certainly won’t be neglecting the other two. This will be a gastro pub, not a restaurant with fuss. We’ll be serving the classics that have proved popular in the delis.”

Punters can expect British favourites such as home-made pork scratchings and duck and black pudding sausage rolls as bar snacks, and fish and chips made with beef dripping and pies for mains.

Dave will also be taking advantage of the site’s large beer garden with a summer barbecue.

“When I first opened Juniper’s in July 2011, it was always my intention to try and build a brand,” he said. “That continued with opening Juniper’s in Sea Road last summer and now we have Juniper’s @ The Cavalier.

“Trade is steady at Sea Road and we’re looking forward to the summer trade. The Barnes deli is well established now. The Sunday dinners we deliver are hugely popular and fly out.

“Sunday dinner is going to be an important part of what we do at Cavalier. We want to be known the for best Sunday dinners in Sunderland.”

Speaking about branching out, he said: “The next phase would be to open in the city centre. The food scene is definitely changing in Sunderland.

“There’s a few people that have tried to move away from the basic Italian offering in the city, but there’s still room for more.

“The town centre is crying out for a steak house and a French restaurant.”

Phil Jeffries, who owns The Cavalier with Craig Bewick, took over the Silksworth Lane pub 18 months ago.

He said: “When I finished work, I always used to call in to Dave’s deli for a home made pie, so when this opportunity became available he was the man I wanted for the job.

“He’s got a lot of interesting ideas and he shares our views of creating a nice, family pub.

“I think his reputation and style of cooking will give the pub a new lease of life.”