Chef Ian Martin at the Orange Tree

Chef Ian Martin has returned to his roots in Nottingham and is back in the kitchen he helped to establish more than 12 years ago when he became the first head chef at the Orange tree pub in the city.
Ian has once again taken charge in the kitchen of the popular bar after returning to the city following a spell working abroad.
It’s a venue he knows well. He spent four years there as head chef when the pub opened in 2003.
Ian, 45, said: “It’s great to be back running the kitchen where I was the original head chef when it first launched back in 2003. It was very satisfying to be the launch chef and help to build up the good reputation for food that the Orange tree still has today.
“There’s been a lot of change in Nottingham in that time. There’s much more choice for eating and a much stronger presence from the chains, but there are fewer strong independent pubs, like the Orange tree, in my view.”
Coincidently, there’s another link for Ian to the building that houses the Orange tree on the corner of Shakespeare Street and North Sherwood Street.
Before he joined the Orange tree first time round, he had previously been head chef to Nottingham Forest Football Club, and the Orange tree sits on the site of the building in which the football club was born 150 years ago, in 1865. Then known as the Clinton Arms, it was the venue for a meeting of shinney players – who played a sport similar to hockey – and, when they decided to begin playing football instead, it was the start of Nottingham Forest Football Club.
During Ian’s first spell at the Orange tree, more than a decade ago, the menu was very much targeted at the student market. Now, however, the pub attracts a much wider clientele and the new Spring menu, which has just launched this month, has been designed to reflect that.
His appointment at the Orange tree marks a home-coming for Ian, who grew up in the city where his dad ran various pubs. Classically French trained, he undertook his chef’s training in Nottingham before working at a variety of positions in the region including at Nottingham Forest, where he travelled all over the world with the football team. He also worked as head chef at the county cricket ground at Derby.
After four years at the Orange tree, he moved on to run a bistro restaurant in the Canary Islands, and later became the head chef at a four-star hotel on the islands.
Ian, who is also head chef for Orange tree Weddings and the Orange tree group’s events side of the business, said: “Styles and fashions in food have changed over the years, but I’m really pleased that the Orange tree still has a good reputation for quality food and for a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. It’s good to have returned to the kitchen here.”
The Orange tree in Nottingham, part of the East Midlands-based independent Orange tree group of bars, serves food daily from noon until 7pm.
Group managing director Gareth Smith said: “We’re delighted to have Ian back at the helm in the kitchens in Nottingham. He knows the group, he knows the Nottingham pub, he knows the kitchen very well, and what’s really important is that he knows our customers.”
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Press release issued by Nottingham based pr company Perfect 10 PR