Originally from Leamington Spa, Nick Bennett is the New Head Chef at the highly acclaimed Old Downton Lodge. He became known to millions when he reached the finals of BBC2's MasterChef: The Professionals screened on Christmas Eve 2015.

Having trained at Stratford upon Avon College, Bennett joined the Mallory Court Brasserie as a commis chef. After 18 months he progressed in the Michelin Star kitchen brigade to Demi-Chef de Partie, working up to Junior Sous chef. Being part of the team that maintained the Michelin Star and 3 AA rosettes for 4 years, whilst working under the tutelage of both Simon Haigh and Andrew Scott, Nick covered all sections of the kitchen gaining a real passion for pastry.

Having worked successfully with Andrew Scott, who was then Head Chef at Mallory Court, in 2012 he left with Andrew to work as Sous Chef at The Curlew Restaurant in Bodiam, East Sussex. The highlight of his 18 month tenure there was helping to retain the Michelin Star in the 2014 guide.  During his time at The Curlew, Nick entered and won Sussex Young Chef of the Year 2013.

Nick and Andrew's working relationship continued when they both joined Sudbury House Hotel in early 2014. Restaurant 56 was awarded 3 AA rosettes in October 2015, placing it in the top 10% of restaurants in the country.  Simultaneously the restaurant also won the Best Gastronomic Restaurant at the Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards.

On his new role, Bennett said "I am really excited to be joining the team at Old Downton Lodge. After visiting the property and surrounding area, it was an easy decision for me to make. Karl Martin has set the standards here and I am extremely grateful for that, and hope to carry on the restaurant in the same direction as he has taken it. it is an extremely excited time for myself and my young family and I can't wait to get started with Willem, Pippa and the team."

Nick Bennett