Michael Caines to leave Gidleigh Park after 21 years

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Michael Caines to leave Gidleigh Park after 21 years

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Michael Caines is to leave Gidleigh Park in Chagford Devon after 21 years to pursue his business ventures in Devon, Shropshire, Wales and Abu Dhabi. 

Caines, who joined the hotel as head chef in 1994 when it was under the ownership of Paul and Kay Henderson, issued a joint announcement with current owner Brownsword Hotels to say his last day would be 3 January 2016. 

The announcement concludes a 12 year partnership with Christina and Andrew Brownsword who thanked Caines for his 'efforts to keep pushing and improving' the restaurant, which has retained two Michelin stars for the last 17 years. 

"Since we met in Exeter more than a decade ago, we have been on a journey to keep exceeding our guests’ expectations and I am proud of what we have achieved," said Andrew. "Today, Gidleigh Park is considered one of the finest country house hotels in the UK, and chefs that have trained with Michael now head up the kitchens at our sister hotels, including Michelin starred Sam Moody at The Bath Priory and Robby Jenks at Amberley Castle”.

New venture

Caines, who is planning to turn the Grade II-listed Courtlands mansion at Lympstone in East Devon into a 21-bedroom hotel and restaurant, said leaving Gidleigh Park would be 'an emotional parting'. 

Gidleigh-Park

"A good part of my life has been spent in this very special place on the edge of Dartmoor," he said. "We have enjoyed some truly wonderful years and I’m immensely proud of what we — my team and I, as well as everyone involved with Gidleigh Park — have achieved over more than two decades. I have enjoyed a fantastic career at Gidleigh Park and over the past 12 years within the Brownsword Hotels group. I would like to thank Andrew and Christina for all their support, as well as the teams both here at Gidleigh Park and throughout the group. 

"I came to Gidleigh Park as a young man at the start of my career. Paul and Kay Henderson believed in me, and with their support, as well as the support of the Brownswords, we have all achieved more than we could have hoped for.

"I leave Gidleigh Park with the fondest memories of one of my favourite places on earth, served by an excellent and caring team. I’m proud and confident that we have created a lasting legacy and that whoever takes over from me will be able to build on the fabulous platform that we have created. Under the custodianship of the Brownswords, Gidleigh Park will remain in secure hands.  I wish them all the best for a successful future.”

Caines will continue his involvement with ABode Manchester, Chester and Exeter until spring 2015 when the restaurants will re-open under new branding. The chef also oversees food at The Coach House by Michael Caines at Kentisbury Grange in Devon and The Townhouse in Oswestry and has recently opened Pearls by Michael Caines in Abu Dhabi. 

Brownsword Hotels said it had already appointed a new executive head chef for Gidleigh Park with an announcement about who it is due later this month. 

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants, Hotels

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