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Business Argus

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In brief...
Bridge firm up for top award
MABEY Bridge has been shortlisted for the Corporate Citizenship Award at this years National Business Awards. Based in Chepstow and with a heritage stretching back to 1849 and the construction of Brunels Wye Valley bridge, the company is a leading international supplier of bridging, heavy steel infrastructure and wind turbine towers. The firm is up against the likes of Barclays and Marks & Spencer. The winner will be revealed at a gala dinner in London in November. More than 150 leading businesses, business leaders and social enterprises have been revealed as finalists in the awards.

Chris Harrod (right) and Steve Mason, at the Crown at Whitebrook

Harrods here as chef wears Crown

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CHRIS Harrod, who trained under the worldfamous Raymond Blanc, has become chef owner at the Michelin- star Monmouthshire restaurant with rooms, The Crown at Whitebrook. Chris, aged 39, developed his chef s skills while working at Raymond Blancs twoMichelin-star Le Manoir aux QuatSaisons, in Oxfordshire, which is recognised as one of the finest restaurant kitchens in the world. Originally from Worcestershire, but most recently living in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Chris comes to Monmouthshire from Denbighshire, North Wales, where he was consultant chef at Lord Newboroughs Rhug Estate Organic. Chris was previously head chef at Colettes, the flagship

By Jo Barnes

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fine-dining restaurant of the five-star hotel and golf resort The Grove, in Hertfordshire. Chris opened the restaurant and while there achieved three AA rosettes, 6/10 in the Good Food Guide. The Grove was voted AA hotel of the year. The Crown at Whitebrook, near Monmouth, recognised as among the best restaurants in the UK, which Chris, as chef owner, and a completely new team, will open for business from October, but bookings are being taken now. Chris, who is recruiting a staff of 12 for the new venture, says he is excited at the prospect of continuing a tradition of fine dining.

His first appointment, as front-of-house manager, is Exeter College catering graduate of the year Steve Mason, who after graduation worked under Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux QuatSaisons and was head waiter and maitred at the two-Michelinstar The Ledbury, in London. Chris, who will live on site, said: Becoming chef patron at The Crown is quite simply a dream come true for me. I had been looking for a restaurant in Buckinghamshire, a country retreat in the Chiltern Hills with the potential to add rooms. Id drawn a complete blank and then a friend mentioned The Crown. I took a look and was amazed to find that it fits the bill right down to the ground. I just cant wait to get started. Chris said: Working with Raymond Blanc was fantastic. He is the most passionate,

enthusiastic chef with a relentless desire to achieve the very best in every thing he offers at Le Manoir. He is a passionate teacher and is very supportive of his protgs so Im sure that one day he will come and visit The Crown at Whitebrook. The three-AA rosette restaurant with rooms closed down and ceased trading in March this year when the previous owners, Monmouthshire-based Crown Hotels and Restaurants Ltd, went into administration, blaming snow and a winter shutdown for its demise. The eight-bedroom awardwinning establishment was placed 27th in the UK in the Good Food Guide 2013 with a cooking score of 7/10, the best in Wales. The restaurant, after closing down, was subsequently advertised for sale or lease.

Defence firm EADS changes its name

EADS, which has a base in Newport, is changing its name to AIRBUS Group, the companys strongest and most internationally recognised brand name. Commercial aircraft is the main growth engine of the group, and the name change will help it ensure strong and sustainable profitability and foster its competitive edge in the future. In order to optimise worldwide market access, improve competitiveness and to address flat or shrinking defence budgets, especially in the European home markets, the EADS board of directors has decided to integrate the business activities of Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian into one defence and space entity . This new division, to be called Airbus Defence & Space, will combine all the groups defence and space activities, with the exception of the helicopter defence business. Airbus Defence & Space will be a major player on the international stage, with 14 billion euros of revenues and more than 40,000 employees. The new organisation will include the UK element of Cassidian, headquartered in Newport. It is hoped that the new structure will be launched at the beginning of next year.

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