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Scott and Carol have run the foodie’s paradise that is The Wheatsheaf in Greetham, for the last nine years. With a pedigree background mainly in London, where they moved after meeting whilst studying catering and hotel management, Scott and Carol can include Bibendum and the Dorchester on their respective CV’s – the latter was where Scott won Waiter of the Year, the same year that Marcus Wareing won chef of the year.

Scott, Carol, what made you pick The Wheatsheaf in Rutland after spending so much time in London?

C- “We wanted a pub in Rutland, as we loved the area, and I love being near water! It’s good for the soul, so the stream was a real positive for me. There are three pubs in the village but this was the best to my mind; a good size, great garden and the private areas were good.”

The food here seems to be the USP of this pub, would you agree?

S- “Absolutely. Everything is made from scratch, Carol runs the kitchen and is militant about the quality and standards of our food.”

C- “I make all our own ice creams, chutneys, jams, pickles and our bread. Once baked, we leave the bread on the bar to cool and to entice the customers to order food! Our menu changes every week with very few things repeated except my Bavette steak, you may see loads of that in London, but not a lot around here which is probably why I get through 20-30kg of it per week!”

And what about “deal nights”, two meals for the price of one etc?

S- “We don’t do them. We don’t need to; the quality of the food is worth the prices we charge.”

So, with the standard of food coming out of your kitchen, you must be employing some pretty expensive chefs?

C- “No. I’m the Head Chef, and then we have a selection of local kids work for us. They tend to be on a four-year turn around, they stay that length of time and then they go off to university, but often come back after. We give really in depth, on the job training – I have to have a lot of patience, but it’s worth it, especially when they leave us and head off into the world and stay in contact. We even have our first ‘Wheatsheaf baby’ on its way, a couple who met in my kitchen and are now together and expecting! But I’m really strict about their education; I make sure they know that study is important and if their grades drop, they don’t get shifts, simple as that!”

Scott, it’s obvious to me that Carol rules the kitchen, so do I assume you rule the bar?

S- “Yep, you got it! I run the front of house, so I curate the bar. We have a fantastic wine list with some quirky choices, including a wine of the month, which is currently from Slovenia. We also have a gin of the month to capitalize on the current trend for it. We make our own coulis and elderflower cordial to ensure that our cocktails and mixers fit the “homemade and local” themes of the food.”

As I walk out of the pub with Scott and Carol to have a look at the chickens and ducks in the garden (both of whom provide eggs for Carole’s “Good Life” kitchen), both are still telling me about the homemade pickles and jams that Carole makes; the absolute passion that they have for all things food and drink is very clear. And, as a gift, I was sent away with a jar of Indian Military Pickle, which, having tried it, I can honestly say would be worth a return visit in itself!

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