Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 14.20.01A TOP North East chef, who has cooked for celebrities and at Michelin-starred restaurants, has joined the region’s largest leisure group.

Dan Duggan, former head chef at Newcastle’s Blackfriars restaurant, where diners included American music producer David Gest and actor Tim Roth, has been recruited by Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc to head the team at one of its most popular gastro pubs.

The 24-year-old, from Whitley Bay, who also worked under renowned chef Tom Kitchin at Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred The Kitchin, has been appointed head chef at the Sandpiper, Farringdon Road, Cullercoats.

The appointment is designed to build on the Sandpiper’s growing reputation as a food venue, offering home-made pub favourites, such as scampi and mixed grill alongside salads, burgers, bar snacks and starters.

“In many ways the Sandpiper is very different from the fine dining venues I have worked at previously,” said Dan, who worked his way up the career ladder after studying at Newcastle College.

“But in many other ways it is similar. The reason Sandpiper has such a dedicated foodie following is that it offers well cooked, homemade dishes that reflect local and seasonal ingredients.

“The venue has just undergone a full refurbishment so I am joining at an ideal time and I am very excited by the possibilities it offers.”

“We are delighted to welcome someone with such a wealth of experience and talent to our team,” said Malhotra Group’s director of operations Atul Malhotra.

“Dan has the experience and the enterprise to really build on the Sandpiper’s reputation and the innovation and energy to inspire his kitchen team to achieve great things.”

The Sandpiper is open from 12 noon until 11 pm from Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Food is served from 12 noon until 9pm from Monday to Saturday and until 4pmon Sundays.

For information, or to make a reservation, call 0191 253 5050 or visit www.thesandpiperbar.co.uk.