Chums back in The Schoolrooms

Thomas Samworth (left) and Rachel Hague
Thomas Samworth (left) and Rachel Hague

HEAD chef Thomas Samworth has gone back to school in more ways than one…

Tom, who won acclaim for his work at Rowley’s gastro-pub in Baslow, has joined former classmate Rachel Hague at her award-winning farm shop and bistro, The Schoolrooms in Lower Bradfield.

Working alongside them is another former school chum, Kathleen Morris. And to complete the picture, they are based in the building that preceded the village school at Bradfield Dungworth – where they all met.

Rachel opened The Schoolrooms last year with her partner, local farmer John Woodhouse. “We are hugely excited to have Tom joining us as new head chef.

“We used to sit next to each other in the classroom back when we were eight; let’s hope we still get on as well with each other now, 20 years on!” she says.

Thomas studied at Sheffield College, worked at Michelin-starred Fischer’s, Baslow Hall, then went to London to become junior sous chef for Gary Rhodes at W1.

He returned to Sheffield a couple of years ago to take over as head chef at Fischer’s gastro-pub, Rowley’s.

“We are very lucky to have Tom on board as he has such a strong reputation,” says Rachel. “It’s about time we got some strong foodie venues on the scene in Sheffield and now we have high hopes of The Schoolrooms fulfilling that dream.”

Tom is equally enthusiastic: “It’s fantastic to be working back in the S6 area again; it’s where my roots are.”

The focus at The Schoolrooms is on local food, with beef, lamb and free-range eggs from John’s farm in Loxley. In addition to the butchery and deli, it offers daily café service, a Friday supper club and Saturday gourmet bistro evenings.