Country Creatures has announced that Henrik Ritzén has joined the team at The Double Red Duke as Executive Chef.
Henrik Ritzén grew up on a sheep farm on a small island off the northwest coast of Sweden, where his family grew organic vegetables and produced their own honey, which they sold in the farm shop and exported to supermarkets.
His initial interest in cooking undoubtedly came from spending time in the kitchen with his mother and learning how to make her everyday dishes, beloved by his family. At 16, Henrik left Koster Island and moved to Gothenburg, where he trained for 3 years at the Ester Mosessons Gymnasium culinary school.
Soon after graduating from culinary school, Henrik gained a position at a Farbror Hjördis restaurant, where Shane Osborne (later at 2* Pied a Terre, in London) had just been made Head Chef.
Shane was a great inspiration in Henrik’s formative years and planted the idea that he should move to London to pursue his career. He then gained a position at the renowned Fiskekrogen in Gothenburg, where he stayed for three years before moving to London at the end of 1997.
While in London, Henrik worked at the Blue Print Café alongside Jeremy Lee and then at The Square with Philip Howard. And in 2004, Henrik took on his first Head Chef position at the highly regarded gastropub – The Anglesea Arms in Hammersmith.
In 2007, he was hired by Henry Harris as Head Chef at the critically acclaimed regional French bistro, Racine. Following Racine, he was opening Head Chef for the Boundary Restaurant in Shoreditch for three years and then, in 2001, became opening Head Chef at Dover Street Arts Club.
Most notably, Henrik became Executive Chef at Aquavit London in 2016, where he attained a Michelin star after just 10 months of opening.
In late 2021, Henrik was announced as Executive Chef at The Double Red Duke, the most recent opening from the Country Creatures – a boutique collection of restaurants and pubs in the Cotswolds. The 17th-century coaching inn was opened last summer by Sam and Georgie Pearman as the third venue in their Country Creatures hospitality group.
Henrik, alongside Sam, will continue to develop a menu that focuses on locally sourced seasonal ingredients as well as cooking over fire.
On his appointment, Henrik said: “I was looking for a new challenge outside of London, and I’m extremely excited to be part of such a passionate team. I’m looking forward to building on what is already a great menu and working with some of the best producers/suppliers in the country, surrounded by the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside.”