Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 105

FOOD & DRINK life Phil Gilbraith of the New Inn celebrates his award Left to right: Warren Turvey, Phil Gilbraith of the New Inn, Shalfleet, and Murray Carter of Red Funnel “It was the proudest moment of my life,” said Philip Gilbraith, Head Chef of the New Inn, Shalfleet, talking about the moment he was given the AA Island Life Pub Chef of the Year award. “I knew I’d been nominated of course, but I didn’t expect to win.” Although the pub has had a lot of success over the years, repeatedly having been made AA dining pub of the year, Philip has never personally achieved recognition. “Not that I seek it,” he says. “I don’t go looking for recognition – I don’t normally like that sort of thing. But it means a lot that I’ve been nominated, and awarded by the AA.” Although the New Inn is known as a dining pub, Philip is adamant that it is first and foremost a pub, not a restaurant. “We do the best food we can but it will always be a pub – we’ve got a lot of local drinkers, and walkers come in with their muddy boots. That’s all part of being a country pub. You can go down the route of being a “pub restaurant” gastro pub, but I think you lose something in the translation, you’re in danger of losing the atmosphere of the pub.” He adds: “We try to work hard so people don’t notice we’re a good food pub if you see what I mean!” So portions are healthy – not piled high but not tiny on a pretty plate either. And although the menu is varied, it has long been known for its seafood – “so we stick to what we do best.” Philip is triumphant that even in late November he’s still able to serve up local fish and crabs. Despite the usual adjustment in customer numbers due to the season he is happy that there is a healthy number still coming to the New Inn. “We’ve got forty booked in for tonight [a Wednesday] and on Saturday had 95 covers.” Midweek trade has been boosted by a three-course two-for-one The Island's new funky radio station www.wightfm.com promotion. On those pret