Lancashire’s Son To Come Home
Paul Heathcote, former Michelin starred chef is going to return to Preston with a new restaurant in the city centre
The man who helped refine many Lancashire specialities, from his home county, is due to open a new business venture at 23 Winckley Square which will then be named ‘Number 23 Winckley’.
Paul also used to run Heathcotes Brasserie at the same Winckley Square address until 2016 before it was sold to Solita. However, Solita closed in 2018 and then it reopened as Trinity on the Square but then that closed down in 2019. Paul’s new project will be located at the same address but it is thought it will not be a traditional restaurant.
Having studied catering at Bolton Technical College, Paul opened his first restaurant, named Heathcotes in 1990 at the age of 29. Within nine days of opening, a gas leak saw the kitchen go up in flames, but against all odds, they were open again only 48 hours later. Within two years he was awarded his first Michelin star, as well as the Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year. His second star came in 1994 which he retained for the next four years. It remained a one-star establishment until 2003, when it was launched as the Longridge Restaurant, regaining its second star in the 2004 awards.
Over the years, Paul Heathcote has added 12 more restaurants to his portfolio, including Grado in Manchester, Simply Heathcotes in Wrightington and several branches of Olive Press Bar and Grill. After 22 years, he decided to sell his flagship Longridge Restaurant and the cookery school he had added to the venue, as he wished to pursuit other avenues.
Paul Heathcote has published two cookbooks, Heathcotes at Home and Rhubarb & Black Pudding – the latter a portrait of the character, people and atmosphere of rural Lancashire which showcases his prized local producers as well as his extraordinary, two-Michelin-star cooking. He fundraises for several charities and works with organisations to promote Lancashire, educate and train young people entering the hospitality industry and teach children about food and healthy eating.
He has also received three honorary fellowships from Liverpool John Moores University, Lancashire University and from Bolton University, in his home town. In 2009 he was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry.
In 2016, he sold Heathcote’s Brasserie and The Olive Press after twenty-one years of service to focus on his catering business. Paul currently runs his catering company ‘Heathcote and Co’ at venues including Preston North End.