Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern has spoken of his intention to give his new restaurant a Whitby-based flavour.
Work began this week to construct The Star Inn The Harbour and the Whitby-born chef says it will help promote what the town has to offer: "It’s brilliant to be opening in Whitby, it’s something that I have always thought about and we have such a great pantry of seafood right on our doorstep.
“We want to promote the north, the North Sea and showcase Whitby – helping to promote the local economy and bring more people to the town.”
The race is now on to open the restaurant in time for summer and Mr Pern has hinted at what people can look forward to.
He said: “There will be a bit of a mix and match, with seafood versions of some dishes from The Star Inn the City, the restaurant we run in York. The menu will be heavily seafood orientated, with around two thirds seafood, but also with some Michelin-star dishes from The Star Inn at Harome. In autumn and winter we will also look to offer some game dishes.”
Mr Pern was born and raised in Whitby, and played for the town’s rugby club. His family roots with Whitby span the generations.
His grandfather, Ron Cordingley, taught at Caedmon School and his paternal great grandfather started the town’s first medical practice.
The aim is now to be in business by May. Mr Pern added: “It’s brilliant to get moving, we got the keys last week so now we are up and running. We’re hoping to open by early summer time, it’s in such a great location right on the harbour side there looking up at the church.
“There’s nothing we need to do structurally, but we now need to start putting in the kitchen and seating areas.”
And Mr Pern insists that the restaurant is not coming in to challenge existing, successful Whitby restaurants.
He said: “Hopefully we can work with the people who have put this town on the map and help to promote the town.”
Planning permission to convert the former tourist information centre into a restaurant was granted by the borough council earlier this year.
Scarborough Council leader Derek Bastiman has previously said that the project is “hugely exciting” for Whitby and that there are not many chefs of Andrew’s calibre that “hand pick a coastal town to set up business in”.