Tristan Mason, chef proprietor of Michelin-starred Restaurant Tristan in East Street, told today of his decision to give up the business after 14 years and said: “I’ve lost my momentum.”
And he apologised to his customers. “I am sorry,” he said, “I will be in touch. There is lots I need to sort out.
"It’s going to take time because I have literally hundreds of emails to go through.”
He said the crunch had come when personal problems coincided with staffing difficulties and rising fuel and food costs.
"There were a lot of staff getting poached from other restaurants.
"There is a massive staff crisis in the catering industry. It is so bad that some restaurants can only open for half a week because they can’t get enough staff.
"I lost some staff. I was planning a little closure anyway, then just to top it all off, we had all that stuff with the fuel crisis. It’s ridiculous, I can’t even tell you the amount but your jaw would hit the floor.
"It was an accumulation of all these things. It’s not like the business was doing badly, the business is on the up. It’s quitting while I’m ahead.
“It’s a good business. It has continued to grow since the day I first opened the doors and it has been busier than ever since the lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions.
"But after 14 years I feel I have done everything I possibly could. It’s been a great journey. I’ve met brilliant people, there have been loads of ups – and downs – but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.”
Tristan, who has retained a Michelin star every year for the past 10 years, said he did not yet know what the future held.
"I love Horsham, I love the customers. I love the restaurant – I love it all but what’s happened with everything, I’ve lost my momentum.
"I’m burnt out from it all. I have been doing this for half my life, I’m not the first person to have a career change – or not as the case may be.
"It’s a life-changing decision but it’s one that has not been taken lightly. This has been on my mind for quite some time.
“The restaurant has been everything to me and my family.”
He added: "I wish everyone the best for the future.”