Marsham Court serves up new chef team

Best served chilled - The Marsham Court’s new chefs: Brad Instance (centre), Balan Ionut (left) and Damian Cydejko

Best served chilled – The Marsham Court’s new chefs: Brad Instance (centre), Balan Ionut (left) and Damian Cydejko

Bournemouth’s hotel of the year has a dynamic new chef team led by Brad Instance.

Brad, 41, joins the Marsham Court Hotel as Head Chef, along with sous chef Balan Ionut, 34 and commis chef Damian Cydejko, 30.

The hotel’s former Head Chef Tony Shepard retired in December 2016 after 30 years in the role.

Prior to joining the Marsham Court in Russell-Cotes Road, father-of-one Brad was Head Chef at the Cottonwood Boutique Hotel.

He has also worked at Bournemouth’s Norfolk Royale Hotel, the Wessex Hotel and the Carrington House Hotel.

He said: “I’m very excited to be leading the kitchen team at such a well known hotel.

“The Marsham Court is family-run and I have a great deal of respect for what Rosie Wallace and her family have achieved here.”

He continued: “Tony (Shepard) was here for a long time and was very much admired.

“But I also have a lot of experience and I am really looking forward to putting my own stamp on the Marsham Court.”

This isn’t the father-of-one’s first role at the family-run hotel.

He explained: “I actually met my wife Kim here in 1997. I was working as junior sous chef and she was working as a duty manager.

“Nineteen years on it’s great to be back as Head Chef.”

Brad’s other ‘love’ – cooking – was discovered during his childhood.

His father owned his own restaurant in Boscastle in North Cornwall and his mother worked in catering.

“I would go to work with them at weekends and in the holidays and started cooking at an early age,” he said.

“When I finished school I went straight into a two-year catering course at Bournemouth & Poole College and from there I was lucky to spend six months working at the Michelin-starred Abbey de St Croix in the South of France.”

He continued: “The Head Chef had worked with the famous Roux brothers and that really inspired me.

“I also became passionate about cooking with locally-sourced ingredients which is something we are also passionate about here at the Marsham Court.”

When he’s not working, Brad can often be found coaching his son’s under 8s football team.

He said: “Sometimes, cooking for a hundred people can seem easy compared to keeping a bunch of seven year olds in order! But I do enjoy it.

“Thankfully I have a very well organised team at work.”

Sous chef Balan Ionut is originally from Romania where he trained at the Hotel Ciucas in Poiana Brasov.

The father-of-three was the former sous chef alongside Instance at the Cottonwood Boutique Hotel.

Commis Chef Damian Cydejko, from Poland, has a three-year-old son and has worked at Bournemouth’s Royal Bath Hotel.

Brad said: “Myself, Balan and Damien all have kids and enjoy sports too, so we get on, both as chefs and as individuals. And that makes for a calm and happy kitchen, great food and happy guests.”


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The Marsham Court was named Large Hotel of the Year at the Bournemouth Tourism Awards 2016. Duty manager Andy Thompson was awarded the Rising Star award on the same night.

The hotel is also the current holder of the Dorset Business Awards (DBA) Business Engagement with Education award.