Our Story


Our Story

The Chilterns Fox is the result of a conversation between our proprietors, Charlie and Martin, which started in Buenos Aires in 2003 and has been going on ever since.

Having been a top chef and professor of gastronomy in BA, Martin Milesi moved to the UK in 2010, subsequently opening his successful restaurant Una in St Pancras. Charlie grew up in the Chilterns and his family have been Oxfordshire farmers for centuries. Both are fascinated by the shared, but little-known, gastronomic history of their two countries.

British emigrants, including some of Charlie’s ancestors, moved to Argentina in the 19th century. They took with them primarily two things: Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle, on the one hand; the expertise and capital to build railways, on the other.

As the British-built railways opened up vast tracts of Pampas to beef farming, so Argentina started to export prime cuts – the rib-eyes, sirloins and fillets – back to the UK. As a result, for the first time these ‘steaks’ became affordable to the British middle-classes.

Until then, a lot of traditional British cooking was based around the use of “the whole cow”, but that now started to change as consumers demanded steaks. Meanwhile, Argentine cuisine – bereft of the prime cuts sent to the UK – developed new ways of making delicacies out of the remainder of the cow. In many cases, dishes similar to traditional British classics.

Nor did the British influence stop there. Legend has it that Chimichurri, the marinade distinctive to Argentina and Uruguay, derives its original name from the demand by a British rancher to one of his gauchos to ‘gimme curry’ – curry having become popular in the UK from exposure to Indian cuisine.

The grandest Argentine vineyard of all, Norton, was established by the English engineer Edmund Norton in 1895. Oxo and Fray Bentos – which brought stock, suet and steak and kidney puddings to the world – were British companies based in Argentina and Uruguay.

The Chilterns Fox is a celebration of this shared heritage. Through our partnership with nearby Hollands Farm – with its heritage pedigree herds of Hereford and Aberdeen Angus – we will be utilising the whole cow, nose to tail and farm to plate.

And for those guests who are looking outside of our beef dishes, we will also be offering other dishes from our respective homelands, from English pub classics such as Fish and Chips to Latin American specialities like Ceviche.

Our partners are the very best that the Chilterns have to offer – from our wonderful local farmers and producers to the spectacular Hundred Hills winery, just across the valley, which we believe will soon be recognised as England’s finest vineyard, and Marlow’s outstanding Rebellion Brewery.

Charlie and Martin are proud to welcome you to the Chilterns Fox and hope that you will join us to enjoy eating and drinking with us in some of the world’s most beautiful scenery.