Chef Doug Crampton is a highly experienced chef. Learning his craft at 3AA Rosette Anthony’s Restaurant in Leeds and training with top British Michelin star chefs, Doug led the opening of James Martin’s restaurant in Manchester in 2013 and went on to be executive chef of the award-winning dining experience, offering classic and innovative British cuisine; locally sourced, big on flavour achieving the Sunday Times Top 50 accolade.

He now Joins Ian O’Reilly and Emma Robinson at Gazegill Organics in Rimington as chef patron of Eight at Gazegill by Doug Crampton to launch a new restaurant which will be a celebration of their own organic meat and local artisan producers whilst championing sustainability, quality and a welcoming restaurant for all.

Tell us a little about Eight at Gazegill

Eight at Gazegill has been a long time coming for Ian and Emma so it’s great to have joined the team and be entrusted in opening and running the restaurant for them. The restaurant will focus on our own organic meat and the other amazing produce we have straight from the farm. We will be working with other local artisan producers to create a menu for brunch, lunch and dinner with the ethos on the best produce cooked simply over fire with full flavour and some surprises. We are championing the field to fork ethos and ensure everything we do is sustainable and eco-friendly.

How does it feel to be on the cusp of opening up the door to the restaurant?

Very exciting! There is lots of work to do still so it’s heads down at the moment. Every day presents a new challenge, which I am relishing, and we are constantly pushing to make sure that everything we do is the best we can deliver or improve upon prior to opening.

First dish you learned to cook?

The first dish in a professional kitchen was a white onion risotto with espresso and parmesan at Antony’s in Leeds – I remember it fondly as the puree in the risotto was caramelised onion made from 20kg of sliced onions cooked slowly for about 14 hours – if it caught in the pan, you were in trouble.

Most vivid childhood food memory?

Making pizza from scratch with my Grandad. This was one of the experiences that got me into cooking in the first place – we made the dough; the sauce and I was always allowed to experiment with topping choices.

Most memorable meal out?

Ynyshir – Gareth Ward. Flavour bang after flavour bang in the most incredible setting with the best tunes! A truly unique dining experience – there is nowhere else like it in the UK.

Favourite ingredient?

Butter. Everything tastes better when cooked with or eaten with butter.

Your go-to snack?


If you weren't a chef, what would you be doing and why?

When I was younger, I said I wanted to be a part time chef and a part time DJ. So, there still could be time to catch me headlining in Ibiza!

Your dream dinner guest, and why?

Elton John. He’s a hero and my guilty pleasure. There would be some good tunes and good food.

What's your guilty food pleasure?

A chip butty from the chip shop with lots of salt and vinegar and scraps.

Who are your food and drink heroes?

As I am from Yorkshire, the biggest legend has to be Brian Turner who I had the opportunity to cook with whilst at college and then hosted a dinner for him at restaurant James Martin, it was a real 360 degrees moment, and he is an absolute gent.

A hospitality industry person who inspires?

Tim Bilton; my first college tutor – he taught me how to cook at weekend classes at the age of 15, then in full time college. His way of teaching and passion for hospitality was so infectious and motivated me to pursue it as a career. He still inspires me now as he went through some serious health problems and has kept fighting and doing what he loves. He is a true legend and I have a lot to thank him for.

A place you love to eat?

Mum’s house – for the Yorkshire puddings.

What has been a career highlight?

Gaining entry into The Times Top 50 Restaurants is up there as a career highlight, along with setting up my own business called Chef Live during lockdown: hosting online, socially distanced cook-alongs raising money for Sue Ryder Wheatfield’s Hospice in memory of my sister. I also take great pride in seeing all the young talent that I have I worked with in my teams moving on to do great things.

What's next for you and Eight at Gazegill?

To get the restaurant open!

My favourite dish

‘A favourite dish of mine is a celebration of beef - BBQ Sirloin, sticky braised cheek, with aged beef fat potato terrine and glazed hen of the woods mushroom with a truffle jus,’ says Doug.

What wish do you have for 2024?

The safe arrival of our new baby.