Head chef John Brown yesterday raised a glass to 15 years of working at Michelin-starred restaurant The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

It was a double celebration as The Harrow has now retained its Michelin star for the eighth year in a row

Mr Brown joined The Harrow as a teenager looking for part-time washing up in September 1999, little knowing it would lead him to the position of head chef and being instrumental in The Harrow’s success in getting its first Michelin star in 2006.

Other awards have included three AA Rosettes and the coveted AA Restaurant of The Year title.

Sue and Roger Jones, owners of The Harrow, say they are delighted not only to have Mr Brown as an employee but also as a friend. Mr Jones was Mr Brown's best man at his wedding.

Besides his work at The Harrow, Mr Brown has also been instrumental in helping Mr Jones' work in schools and colleges all over the UK and in training youngsters at The Harrow.

Mr Brown has also crucial in supporting the Jones's with all their charity work including Ty Hafan Hospice, Chefs' Night Out, Vine Dining, SCOPE, Ryan Jones Testimonial and the Aberaeron Seafood Festival.

Stephen McGraw, managing director of Riedel, presented Mr Brown with an engraved Riedel decanter at a presentation lunch at The Harrow on September 7 attended by friends, wine makers and loyal customers.

Mr Jones said: "In 15 years a few things have changed, John no longer drinks Tenants Extra, now preferring Krug, he is married with a family, has moved from Great Bedwyn to Little Bedwyn, to save on the five-minute commute to work, and can sing a few Welsh songs.

"But he continues to excel both in the kitchen and in running The Harrow at Little Bedwyn."

And Simon Numphud FIH, head of AA Hotel Services, said: "I have been fortunate to know the Harrow during most of this time and have been so pleased to see all the success that it has deservedly achieved over the years.

"This has only been achieved through so much hard work and dedication of which you (John) have been a massive part together with Roger and Sue."