MasterChef entrepreneur’s garden shed restaurant served closure threat

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The venue, which seats six guests at a time, is described by Minchew as “a rustic retreat where you are seated on reindeer skin covered benches around a crackling fire. At least one element of your meal is cooked in front of you as you dine from wooden plates and drink from handmade cups.”

The budding entrepreneur admits she is “not a professional chef” on her website, but her savvy cuisine venture secured national media attention at the time of launch – however, it’s now caught unwanted attention from Gloucester City Council whose officials have said it requires retrospective planning permission or risks being knocked down.

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Minchew said: “When I first looked into building my studio, my builders and I believed that planning permission was not necessary. It was only at the end of the year that someone from Gloucester City Council contacted me

“I immediately invited him to visit and he is satisfied about the business activity but he felt that contrary to my research, planning permission was needed.”

Martin Shields, Gloucester City Council’s corporate director of services and neighbourhoods, said: “We’ve written to residents in the area and invited them to send us their comments. If anyone else would like to give us their comments please visit gloucester.gov.uk and choose planning then search for 15/00288/FUL.”

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Charging roughly £35 a head for a three-course meal, Minchew takes just two bookings a month but said her neighbours have supported the operation, revealing: “If any of the local residents have any objection to it they certainly haven’t made comment to me. The neighbours I have directly spoken to were interested and enthusiastic.”

On her website, she described her education and love of food by saying: “I completed a Prue Leith course whilst studying for my A Levels but felt a stronger pull to university than I did towards a professional kitchen. This proved to be a wise decision as my academic work took me across Southeast Asia and everywhere I went I tasted and learned.

“I remain an academic but the time has come for me to share my findings and open my kitchen. My restaurant features just  two tables and opens for exclusive bookings and special events only.”

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