Brought to you by

Meet the chef: Charlie Ongley-Knight, The White Hart, Welwyn

Credit: The White Hart Welwyn
Credit: The White Hart Welwyn


Where did you train?

Although I had always liked cooking, it was only after failing most of my GCSEs that I decided to attend Herts College and test the water in cooking for a career. This was a three year course, however, my training did not stop there and the opportunities I found working in real kitchens was invaluable. I have spent the last six years training alongside some incredible chefs across our two pubs, The White Hart in Welwyn village & The Tilbury in Datchworth. Both led by our Exec Chef, Tom Bainbridge.

Where did you start your career?

Plagued with dyslexia and self doubt my first experience in a real kitchen was at Redcoats Farmhouse. Although studying at college does not mean you naturally enter as a chef, my first year in the kitchen was as a kitchen porter!

What appealed to you about the White Hart?

After spending years climbing the ladder and learning from Tom, my respect for the role and the responsibility it entails grew. Although eager for another challenge, this role opened up sooner than I had anticipated and really helped to push me on.

Great British Life: One of the dishes at The White Hart Welwyn Credit: The White Hart WelwynOne of the dishes at The White Hart Welwyn Credit: The White Hart Welwyn

What type of chef would you say you are?

I would hope my team and those around me would say I am fair and reasonable, with a sense of fun at the heart of everything we do. I hope I can help change the stigma around the industry and specifically how kitchens and head chefs are portrayed.

What is your favourite dish to cook?

The refined roast chicken - a main course that has recently featured on our menu. A simple take on a classic roast dinner, using the same components and elevating them. It is a dish full of flavour, heart and nostalgia.

What can people expect from your menus this season?

Big flavours, hearty dishes and locally sourced seasonal produce.

What’s big for the year ahead for you?

We have great plans for our 2024 wine dinners after the success of last year. They are a great evening to experiment with different styles and learn about different cuisines.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

To many people’s horror, I strongly dislike cold food - be it a sandwich, cold pizza or pasta. Something my girlfriend and bosses will never get over!

The White Hart, 2 Prospect Place, Welwyn, AL6 9EN
01438 715353


Hertfordshire Life Read more

Latest articles

More from Hertfordshire Life


Hertfordshire Life Read more