PUB-GOERS got the chance to brush shoulders with a reality television star as they enjoyed a three-course dinner at a revamped city pub.
BBC MasterChef host Gregg Wallace compered a function for 50 members of the public at the Bridge Tavern in Old Portsmouth last week.
With a spare seat at every table, the 54-year-old Londoner chatted with diners while they tucked in and even posed for selfies upon request.
The event was organised by the online platform We Fi Fo, which enables venues to host meals with professional chefs.
Dave Reed, who owns the Bridge Tavern with his wife, Lynn, scored the visit after previously helping out with Gregg’s BBC show Eat Well for Less.
‘They came here about three months ago and he came into the bar – he was more than surprised at how good my food was,' the 56-year-old said.
‘He then tweeted me, we connected and he said we would like to do a function for me.’
He added: ‘I think he’s a really smashing bloke and the guests were pleasantly surprised at how receptive he was and how open he was about answering any questions they had.’
Mr Wallace has fronted MasterChef with John Torode since 2005, filming 203 episodes which have seen amateur cooks go head-to-head in challenges judged by food critics and Michelin-starred cooks, including Michel Roux Jr.
By comparison Mr Reed's time at the Bridge Tavern is much shorter, having taken over the Fuller's venue seven months ago and refurbishing it – following a 10-year stint at the White Horse in Southsea, which is now Brewhouse and Kitchen.
As Mr Wallace did the rounds last week, guests tucked into courses of fresh mussels with crusty bread, traditional fish and chips and fresh raspberry trifle cooked by Mr Reed.
And he has confirmed there will be more to come.
‘I’m honoured to have had Gregg here and he will be doing a future date as well, this year – probably in two or three months time,' he said.
Mr Reed thanked the pub's staff for their ‘hard work and dedication’ on the day.