CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Anton Piotrowski

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 December 2014

Anton Piotrowski has just earned his first Michelin star for cooking at The Treby Arms

Anton Piotrowski has just earned his first Michelin star for cooking at The Treby Arms


Devon Life’s Chef of the Year admits he ‘cried like a baby’ when he learned he’d earned his first Michelin star for his cooking at The Treby Arms. SUSAN CLARK went for lunch at the modest village pub that is serving great food

Anton is adament The Treby is a good pub not a restaurantAnton is adament The Treby is a good pub not a restaurant

The smiles are wider, the greetings possibly chirpier and the steps just that bit springier amongst both the diners and the staff at The Treby Arms now that the Sparkwell pub has taken its place among the nation’s prestigious Michelin-starred eateries.

The Treby (as the locals call it) is only the fourth place in Devon to be awarded a star and everyone can’t stop smiling which is no surprise because you can’t buy, bribe or influence your way to a prestigious Michelin star for your food – you can only cook and serve your way there.

And there were plenty of dissenters who told chef patron Anton Piotrowksi it couldn’t be done: not in that pub, not in that village and not without becoming a snooty restaurant instead of a well-loved village pub.

Anton, who is still only 32 and so the youngest of Devon’s Michelin-starred chefs was having none of it and neither, I suspect, was wife, Clare, who is clearly Chief-of-Staff on the Treby team.

The Springer, like The Treby, is dog-friendly but has an even more laid back rustic vibeThe Springer, like The Treby, is dog-friendly but has an even more laid back rustic vibe

The couple first met at school, became childhood sweethearts and then married in the middle of the maelstrom that was Anton’s filming for the BBC’s Masterchef Pro series in 2012. They had no idea he would go on to become the joint winner and so planned a wedding and a three-week honeymoon, the latter having to be cut short so Anton could get back to the UK to film (and win) the finals.

That show and that triumph may have put him on the national foodie/chef radar but Anton and Clare had already sunk their hearts, their souls and all their cash into the Treby which they had opened the previous year in May 2011.

“We’d spent everything we had gutting and refitting the pub and only had about £400 left for the kitchen so we opened with a £50 second-hand domestic oven and a £50 second-hand dishwasher which blew up that first night,” says Anton.

Voted the Devon Life chef of the year for 2014, Anton admits winning the Masterchef competition didn’t do him any harm but says he really only entered because chef/presenter, Michel Roux Junior is one of his heroes and he wanted to learn from him. And when Anton won his Michelin star, Michel (and co-presenter, Monica Galetti) were among the first to congratulate him and Clare and the team.

It may sound all very glamorous now but when the list of new star holders was published at the end of September, Anton was in Germany cooking for the returning troops. Training details meant he had either a sketchy or no mobile phone signal the entire morning and so the first he knew of getting a star was a half tweet from 
@Masterchef that said “From Masterchef to Michelin…” and then tailed away leaving him none the wiser.

“I was running around that camp holding my phone up to the ceiling and the tops of windows desperate for a signal,” he says. “And when we finally worked out that we had been given a star, instead of being all cool and composed, I cried like a baby!”

If you’ve had a meal at The Treby Arms you will be in the queue to cock a snoot at those early dissenters because to be honest, Anton could cook on your Granny’s old frying pan and you’d still be raving about the meal halfway into next year.

Although a Michelin star is a fantastic boost for a business – Anton predicts an uplift of around 20 per cent – he says it’s not an excuse to put up the prices and so the great news is you can still sample a two course lunch for around £20 a head.

Earlier this year, Anton and Clare acquired The Springer Spaniel pub at Treburley, just outside Launceston so this is clearly not a chef who is resting on his laurels or his awards. He thrives on a new challenge and variety, is adamant that his success is all down to the team he has working with him and modestly tells me both pubs are just that, pubs (not restaurants).

“They’re good pubs serving good food,” he says.

He’s wrong, of course.

They’re good pubs serving GREAT food. and @thetrebyarms

Follow: @SpringerThe


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 08:40

From pale ale and real cider to craft beer, Devon is home to a number of real ale breweries and CAMRA award-winners, meaning a good pub is never far away – we pick 16 places to go in Devon to find the best pint

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Devon Life’s readers and followers have been voting for their favourite food & drink stars and we can now reveal our winners who were honoured at our glamorous ceremony at Sandy Park on November 15

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Public Houses are a cornerstone of life here in Britain, dating back as far as the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Devon is no different and its humble establishments are steeped in history and nostalgia. We’ve taken a look at 11 of the county’s most historical pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A traditional Christmas pudding recipe, served with clotted cream and a brandy Crème Anglaise with a dash of cognac

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Whether you have strawberry or raspberry jam on your scones, or prefer Earl Grey to English breakfast tea, we’ve found 12 of the best tearooms that Devon has to offer

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

We’ve spoken to award-winning chef Michael Caines MBE to find out more about Lympstone Manor’s wine celebration evenings and when their new vineyard will produce its first bottle of wine

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Sunday lunch is an enduring British institution that’s incredibly important to get right. We’ve chosen 12 places in Devon that will guarantee sublime stuffing, mouth-watering meats and Yorkshire pudding perfection.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

As the winter begins to close in, there’s nowhere better to take refuge than one of Devon’s many cosy pubs. Here are 9 you should look for when needing to escape the nippy British weather

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Check out Michael Caines’ column in the latest issue of Devon Life where you can read more about what this recipe will be perfect with

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Tea Room / Coffee Shop of the Year. Sponsored by Radio Exe

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Best Sunday Roast. Sponsored by

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Pub of the Year award. Sponsored by WBW Solicitors

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Restaurant of the Year award. Sponsored by Westchem

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Local Producer of the Year award. Sponsored by Exeter Chiefs

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search