After 60 years working for the Milsom family, chef Terry Barber has finally hung up his chef whites and retired from the kitchen.
Terry started working for the family as a schoolboy when he was just 13; through his long and varied career he eventually became Executive Head Chef at Le Talbooth. This meant that not only was Terry responsible for the main restaurant kitchen but also all the outside parties, including cooking for the Queen on two occasions when she visited Colchester. A firm favourite with all the restaurant customers, Terry has cooked for generations of guests at their weddings and family celebrations, many of whom have become personal friends over the years.
Paul Milsom, Managing Director of Milsom Hotels & Restaurants and whose father, the late Gerald Milsom first employed Terry in 1954 commented ‘Terry has had the most incredible cooking relationship with our family and business. Firstly he worked for my grandparents at the Dedham Vale Hotel and then with my father when it became the famous Terrace Restaurant. Terry then transferred to Le Talbooth in 1994 and worked with me when he became head chef.
In recent years Terry has helped us part time in the event catering business and also enjoyed coming into the restaurant on a Sunday to carve the roast beef – always a job he enjoyed as he would see so many old friends from over the years. Sadly I guess there was always going to be a time when even he decided to call it a day. Terry has been an absolute rock and his greatest talent was the ability to adapt his cooking skills to the ever changing needs of the business over such a long period. It’s a very sad moment for all of us and we wish him a very long and happy retirement.’
To his colleagues, Terry Barber is best described as a legend. Stas Anastasiades, Operations Director of MH&R who has worked alongside Terry in the kitchen commented ‘Terry’s unswerving dedication to the industry and Milsom Hotels is inspirational. He has the enviable reputation as a chef’s chef having trained and developed countless young cooks over the decades, many of who are now at the top of their profession. A true gentleman in every sense, Terry has been an impeccable role model and industry ambassador.’