TV chef Stephen Terry who was Gordon Ramsay’s best man puts his award-winning restaurant up for sale after leaving his wife for wine expert 24 years his junior

TV chef Stephen Terry who was Gordon Ramsay’s best man puts his award-winning restaurant up for sale after leaving his wife for wine expert 24 years his junior

A married TV chef who was Gordon Ramsay’s best man has put his award-winning restaurant up for sale after splitting with his wife – and moving in with a wine expert 24-years younger than him.

Chef Stephen Terry, 56, quit his family-run restaurant to set up a new home with love Jo Browning, 32, after separating from wife Joanna, 54.

Terry, who appeared on Great British Menu, announced the sudden closure of his country restaurant The Hardwick in the Welsh market town of Abergavenny after 18 years in October last year.

His affair with Miss Browning was revealed later – with dad-of-three Terry saying: ‘I regret the pain it’s caused my family and I will for the rest of my life.

‘But you’ve only got one life.

‘I’m supporting my wife the best I can. I don’t want this to be messy.’

Before the affair was revealed Terry posted a picture on Instagram with fellow restaurant staff saying: ‘The final ‘Family’ last breakfast supper. Thank you to all our staff and customers from the last 18 years. It’s been emotional. Onwards and upwards.’

Terry is believed to have struck up a relationship with mother-of-one Jo while she was working for wine merchants Chesters and the couple have been living together since in Abergavenny.

The restaurant with rooms is now on the market for £825,000 including a three-bedroom adjoining owner’s accommodation – less than would be expected for its location and history.

The online listing describes the property as a ‘renowned award-winning gastro pub and restaurant with rooms’ and features ‘four interconnecting bar and restaurant areas.’

It says it also had ‘eight ensuite letting bedrooms and excellent catering facilities’ and is ‘just a mile or so from the edge of the thriving market town of Abergavenny.’

It adds: ‘It is one of the most sought-after and popular residential locations in South Wales and this popular, rural part of Monmouthshire. It is notable for being the culinary centre, renowned for its annual food festival.’

Terry trained under Marco Pierre White at Harveys and became best friends with Gordon Ramsay when they worked together.

The restaurant won awards including a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide, being named the best restaurant in Wales in consecutive years and named the 19th best gastropub in the coveted Estrella Damm 50 Best Gastropubs list in 2020.

Father-of-three Terry was running the restaurant with his wife Joanne after her family helped fund the purchase and they added plush rooms for guests to stay.

But Terry claimed he always steered away from getting a Michelin star because he didn’t want to sound ‘posh and expensive.’ He beat Angela Hartnett in the Great British Menu in 2008.

The chef split with wife Joanna, who helped him run the restaurant, followed Terry being swindled out of £150,000 by the restaurant’s financial administrator Nicola Nightingale.

Nightingale, 48, stole £150,000 from the restaurant while transferring £46,000 into the account of husband Simon Nightingale, 50, to splash out on luxury holidays.

Both Nightingales were given suspended sentences for the fraud and a court later ruled they had no assets that could be seized for repayment.

Terry slammed the judge’s decision not to jail the couple as ‘an absolute joke.’

Speaking after the sentence, chef Mr Terry said it was an ‘absolute joke’ that the couple walked free after defrauding his restaurant out of £150,000.

He said: ‘I am disappointed there was no custodial sentence for what they have put myself through. For someone to come and do that I think she practically got away with it.

‘They had holiday we could have only dreamed of and all of a sudden you find out you’re paying for it. For them to result in getting a suspended sentence is a travesty.

‘What kind of message does that sent out? It’s a joke, an absolute joke.

‘This should be a lesson for all people not to trust, do your research, get references and be aware of how your business is being run. We trusted her and unfortunately she didn’t fulfil her job title.

‘Get involved in your business because I am sure it’s going on as we speak and it’s an absolute killer. We have managed to survive by the skin of our teeth but we’re still repaying debt. We’re good at what we do and have managed to work through that.’

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