“Fundamentally, we want people to enjoy their evening:  to soak up the atmosphere from the open kitchen;  to take in the art installations;  and to rediscover the joy (perhaps even the drama!) of congenial dining, all whilst discovering fantastic food and drink.”

Ainara Mateu and Jokin Ortega, owners and founders.


The Gastronomist is now open to welcome diners to a very special supper experience.

The Gastronomist is a refined, modern event space conceived with comfort and conviviality in mind. We aim to deliver always exceptional, at times unconventional, dining experiences. 


Our  dinner party-styled restaurant will soon welcome guests for a curated two and a half-hour experience featuring menus inspired by the freshest and finest available ingredients from the surrounding Kent countryside. 

The format of the tasting menus will consist of six courses with selected wine pairings.  


You are our welcome guests and from the moment you arrive at The Gastronomist, everything will be taken care of. We have done all the hard work of crafting delicious tasting menus, carefully matched wines and great service. All you need do is enjoy yourselves.

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We want to serve flavours that are intrinsically delicious, inspired by nature, and assimilate some international flair.  


Our food offering is designed around the best seasonal ingredients from Kent, and occasionally beyond, to create bold menus that tell a story and have a sense of provenance. 


Our bespoke 2 metre wide parrilla will be the focal point in the kitchen and is bound to capture our guests’ attention during the evening’s service.

The Gastronomist Club kitchen is lead by Head Chef Alejandro Bello,

a remarkable chef with a breadth of experience in both restaurant and event catering within the UK, Latin America and Saudi Arabia.


With a focus on delivering unique and sophisticated menus, Chef Bello promises an incredibly exciting gastronomic experience for Ashford. Chef Bello enjoyed cooking from a very young age in his native Venezuela. He began his journey into the world of fine food earning a coveted place to master classic culinary techniques under the management of Michel Roux Jnr at the legendary Le Gavroche

in London.


Chef Bello then returned to Caracas, where he worked launching a number of high-end restaurants in the Venezuelan capital. New adventures followed in 2010 when Chef Bello moved back to the UK eager to continue learning. He landed his first Head Chef role with the launch of Ceviche Soho alongside restaurateur Martin Morales. Showcasing Peruvian cuisine, Chef Bello’s food was described as “a gastronomic dream” by The Wall Street Journal within a week of

the restaurant’s opening. Chef Bello went on to work in several prestigious venues amongst them the British Museum, the Saatchi Gallery and Somerset House.


In recent years Chef Bello has been involved in creating and delivering lavish events across London for different companies including Caprice Holdings and Alexander & Bjorck.


Chef Bello’s ambitious and inventive style utilises the finest quality ingredients to produce dishes that are both colourful and filled with

dynamic flavours. He excels in experimenting with modern techniques to push the boundaries of guests’ expectations.




Wines and drinks lists are curated to enhance each menu, ensuring beautifully matched food. But we know there is more than one perfect pairing.


Our cellar goes beyond the selected wines for the evening, offering our guests the chance to create food and drink partnerships of their own.


Bottled wine is also available to purchase as gifts or for the home. 

Wine Tasting Events 


June 2021


Wednesday 16 - SPANISH WINES 

Taste and discover 6 exciting Spanish wines from de D.Os: Galicia, Ribera del Duero, Catalunya, Castilla la Mancha and Rioja.

Wedneday 23 - KENT WINES (1)

Taste and discover 6 exciting wines from Kent

Wednesday 30 - KENT WINES (2)

Taste and discover 6 exciting wines from Kent

Tasting notes and Nibbles are included at all of our wine tasting events. 



Our commitment to creating unique and memorable experiences for our patrons extends beyond the dining and wine-pairings.  


Our venue was deliberately designed to serve as a blank canvas for art exhibitions, which will change throughout the year.  


Partnering with Experience Curators for the restaurant’s 2021 launch, The Gastronomist has commissioned international fine artist

Zita Ayala, marking the UK debut of her work.  The “Taupadak” Exhibition, which in Basque means “Heartbeat”, is a brand-new series that sees the artist explore the reconnection between humans and nature.


The artwork is for sale. For all artwork related enquiries, please contact Experience Curators at