A culinary star in the making

The brief: Dave Watts is Head Chef at the Cotswold House Hotel, a luxury hotel and spa in Gloucestershire. Dave trained under Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison, who taught him how, if you start with the best possible ingredients, you can’t go far wrong. As a result, Dave is renowned for his Modern British style, his culinary flair and use of superb, locally sourced ingredients. Midas PR was briefed to work with Dave to publicise
the hotel’s restaurants and food offering to the target audience of discerning diners, living locally as well as visitors to the Cotswolds.

Strategy and implementation: Midas adopted a two-pronged strategy of pitching for interviews and features coupled with recipe based opportunities. We worked with Dave to produce a series of consumer-friendly recipes that best illustrate the hotel’s food offering.

In addition, Dave recreated recipes for dishes featured in famous films, initially as a one-off feature for Shortlist online; this subsequently ran as a regular weekly feature. Midas also maximised opportunities in the print edition of Shortlist, positioning Dave as an expert on cooking and food. The other strand of activity targeted regional media to secure interviews, recipes and live cooking demonstrations.

Results: Dave’s recipes in Shortlist online were seen by an estimated 420,000 people over a two month period, and an extensive social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter maximised all opportunities. Glowing reviews were carried in influential style media including

Shortlist, Flavour, Handbag.com and Square Meal. Regionally, coverage was achieved in print, online and radio throughout the catchment area of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Lastly, as a result of Dave’s higher profile, he won the accolade of the Chef to Watch Award in the 2013 Good Food Guide Awards.