THE Box Tree in Ilkley has announced the appointment of head chef Brayden Davies as their new, culinary lead.

Australian-born Davies, a family man who lives in Skipton, has taken the reins of the internationally renowned restaurant to bring a refined and more modern approach to the kitchen. Brayden will introduce subtle influences from his Australian roots – including finger limes, macadamia nuts and truffles (seasonal) - as well as focus on locally foraged ingredients.

Ilkley Gazette: Chef Brayden Davies in the kitchen at The Box Tree, Ilkley Chef Brayden Davies in the kitchen at The Box Tree, Ilkley (Image: submitted)

Brayden said: “I’m delighted to be taking the helm and making my own unique mark on the history of this iconic restaurant. The new menu has a more modern twist, and I’m excited to combine my different cooking style with the rich and traditional heritage the restaurant is renowned for.

“Long standing diners, as well as new customers, will receive the attention to detail that they should expect from a premium restaurant. I pride myself on knowing all of our suppliers, to ensure that the ingredients we use are of the finest quality.”

Brayden brings six years’ experience working in four Michelin-starred restaurants - most recently as the right-hand man to Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall and prior to that at Raby Hunt, Northcote Manor, and the Angel at Hetton.

Ilkley Gazette: The interior of The Box Tree in IlkleyThe interior of The Box Tree in Ilkley (Image: submitted)

Davies takes the reins in the brand new, state-of-the art kitchen he’s been influential in designing. The kitchen refit includes everything from new workstations to a Japanese (open flame) Kasai grill, and the pastry section has moved into the main kitchen to ensure that all the chefs work closely together under Brayden’s direction.

Chris Stapleton, The Box Tree General Manager, said: “Brayden brings a fresh vibrancy to The Box Tree and, having honed his skills in prestigious kitchens both in the UK and across the world, he brings an innovative approach to classic cuisine and a dedication to sourcing the finest seasonal ingredients.

“The feedback so far has been incredible, and we’re really looking forward to many more people experiencing the next generation of The Box Tree.”

Ilkley Gazette: The Box Tree in IlkleyThe Box Tree in Ilkley (Image: submitted)

The Box Tree is one of the oldest buildings in Ilkley. Originally a Yorkshire stone farmhouse dating from 1720, home to a generation of gentleman farmers from Denton, the house subsequently bought by businessman, Septimus Wray – the owner of the Bridge House Gardens. This period saw the property developed for business and it was in the late nineteenth century that box trees were first planted in the front garden and thus became known as Box Tree House. During later years the Box Tree became both an antique shop and a tearoom, before the potential for a fine restaurant in Ilkley was recognised.

Ilkley Gazette: The Box Tree in IlkleyThe Box Tree in Ilkley (Image: submitted)

Opened in 1962 by Malcolm Reid and Colin Long, The Box Tree quickly became the North’s most successful restaurant. It was the first Michelin starred restaurant outside of London, with two Michelin stars to its name.

The Box Tree has featured in every good food guide as renowned chefs Michael Truelove, Simon Gueller, Edward Denny and the more contemporary Marco Pierre White each made their mark on the menus and the history of the restaurant.