Introducing our new chef Ross Barden


We are delighted to welcome our new Chef Patron, Ross Barden, to The Empire Room, following a refresh of the restaurant over the summer. Given our reputation for culinary excellence, we have taken great care in choosing the right person to come on board. So naturally Ross comes with excellent credentials.

Since undergoing professional chef training at Canterbury college, Ross has risen through the culinary ranks in various reputable Kent eateries, earning an AA Double Rosette along the way – as Head Chef at Deesons in Canterbury.  He’s also been Chef de Partie at the Michelin-starred restaurant Reads in Faversham; Executive Chef at the Skinny Kitchen in Canterbury and Head Chef at Sands Hotel, where he retained their double rosette.

So what brings Ross to Ramsgate?  He tells us he was enticed by the excellent culinary reputation of The Empire Room, and the chance to make more of a mark in a restaurant by being Chef Patron. This means he will manage both the front of house as well as the kitchen – so don’t surprised if he comes and chats to you at your table.

Ross will bring some new touches using his talents, wealth of knowledge regarding seasonal food, and a professional awareness of where to source the best produce. As well as working with reputable suppliers including the Broadstairs-based fishmongers, Fruits de Mer, he plans to introduce foraging food such as wild samphire and garlic. You will also see more game dishes on the menu, within season, such as venison, pigeon and pheasant. Fortunately he knows “an excellent local supplier” – Stour Valley Game. Don’t be surprised if there are some occasional unusual cuts of meat on the menu either, as Ross likes to encourage ‘nose to tail’ dining.

We’re very proud of having our new chef on board, and excited about the subtle changes he is bringing. If we’ve whetted your appetite, you can see our new menu, and book a table here.



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