Worthing is fast becoming a haven for food lovers and now the town may well be on it’s way to boasting its first Michelin star restaurant, writes Nick Mosley.
This summer, Johnny Stanford – former Head Chef at Alexander House – opens ‘Tern’, a fine dining restaurant set on the first floor of the iconic southern pavilion of Worthing Pier, known as Perch on the Pier.
Offering the finest views of the Sussex coast, Tern will be a produce-led restaurant where guests will enjoy high quality food – showcasing the very peak of seasonality – whilst experiencing the art of personalised, genuine hospitality. Responsible sourcing from British growers and suppliers, and sustainable practices are core to the ethics behind both the food and the experience.
Manchester born and bred, Johnny began his career working with Paul Kitching at his acclaimed restaurant Juniper in Altrincham, before heading to Cumbria, Edinburgh and finally settling in Sussex in 2012, working as sous chef at the Michelin starred restaurant Matt Gillan at The Pass. In 2017, he took the reins at Pascere in Brighton as Head Chef to much acclaim. Most recently he headed up the fine dining restaurant AG’s at Alexander House Hotel, retaining its three rosettes for the past three years.
Described by highly-acclaimed food critic Marina McCoughlin as “No messing brilliance,” and “Cooking that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the country’s best” by Tom Parker-Bowles, Johnny’s style is to combine creative and masterful cooking with strong ethics.
He creates captivating menus using British produce in the peak of its seasonality. His cooking is driven by the desire to celebrate the vibrant diversity of the UK’s countryside, coastline and producers, creating plates which sing of the seasons. Hearing and seeing first hand the dedication, passion and effort that goes into creating their products, he takes that same care and attention, using his expertise to showcase this produce through his food.
“I’ve lived in Sussex for almost 11 years now and so much has changed in that time”, said Johnny.
“The food scene has exploded with new independent restaurants opening almost every month, it's been amazing to see”.
Sussex has had loads of amazing producers and farmers pop up in the last few years. Chefs in Sussex are really spoiled for produce”.
Johnny is thrilled at the opportunity to open Tern in such an iconic location and is driven to create an experience that is sure to delight and surprise guests in equal measure.
“It’s such a privilege to have this opportunity to open my own restaurant in such a prominent, beautiful and beloved place. The space itself is stunning, and I am incredibly excited to be able to call this iconic landmark a home, and to get to write another part of its history. The pier is such an integral part of Worthing, it’s a constant backdrop for the ever changing high street and the ever changing tides. It has been a huge presence in our families life, as I know it has for many others, with Tern we want to honour that significance with the experience we create.”
With room for 25 diners, guests at Tern can relax and enjoy informal, but slick service. Tern is about laid back, accessible fine dining with no dress codes or formalities. Just book your table and hang out, letting the highly-experienced team make a memorable experience for you in this breath-taking location.