The Three Crowns: Historic gastropub makes a comeback
Ousmane Gaye cut his teeth in some of London’s most exciting kitchens – from Holborn Dining Room and Roast to Asia de Cuba and Plaquemine Lock.
Now the Senegal-born chef is heading up the kitchen at The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington – returning it to its heyday as one of the area’s best gastropubs.
The pub, which came under new management just before Christmas has had a huge revamp – with a big skylight restored in the roof. And its air-conditioning makes it one of the coolest spaces in town!
Ousmane and landlord Stacey Thomas have been working together to perfect the menu – scouring recipe books and eating their way around London for inspiration. The result is an exciting menu, packed with flavours influenced by Ousmane’s heritage, travels and work.
He said: “I started cooking as a young boy. We used to cook a lot of fish – fresh from the sea. I’ve cooked in restaurants of so many nationalities; my cooking is a fusion of African, French, English and Asian cuisine. My background is Creole food – soul food! I love putting flavours together and creating something special.
“As a child I never planned to become a chef, but when I was a student, my housemates and I were ordering takeaways all the time. We started to buy ingredients instead and I would cook for us all – I realised I had a passion for cooking and decided to do it for a living. I’ve been lucky enough to be trained by some of London’s best chefs.”
Ousmane started working at The Hilton as a porter before working in the kitchen and learning on the job. He went on to work at East West and spent six years with Roast in Borough Market.
Returning to Stoke Newington is like coming home – he used to live in a flat on Church Street and has fond memories of late nights with his friends in The Three Crowns.
Ousmane has three children. He added: “They love my cooking – that makes me the happiest! When people eat my food, whoever they are, I want them to love it. We have an open plan kitchen at The Three Crowns – nothing makes me happier than seeing people have enjoyed their meal!”
Stacey added: “We are so lucky to have Ousmane – it’s an exciting new chapter for The Three Crowns. I used to eat here a lot when it was a gastropub – when the last landlord took over the focus shifted more towards being a night-time venue. Now, once again, it’s a gastropub to rival the best.”
Local Buyers Club members save 10% off food and drink any time and 20% off weekday lunch at The Three Crowns (offer excludes in-house deals).
The menu includes seasonal, fresh fare including: Buttermilk Chicken Burger (with Spence Bakery bun), Pulled-Pork Burger, Globe artichoke stuffed with spinach, mint and pea purée with heritage tomatoes and Roasted Aubergine Salad, pomegranate, basil, pine nuts, confit garlic crème fraiche. There’s a good menu for the children too (with delicious home-made ice-cream).
The Three Crowns has been in Stoke Newington since the 1600s. Stacey also runs The Lexington in Islington.
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