Chris Simpson is understood to be starting at the Devonshire country house hotel today and will run his first service when Gidleigh Park re-opens after its annual closure on 12 January. Simpson has been head chef at Nathan Outlaw’s Port Isaac restaurant for seven years.
“It’s a privilege to have been offered the opportunity to take up the reins at Gidleigh Park, somewhere I’ve admired since I very first started cooking,” he says. “Moving with the support of Nathan, I’m excited to be heading up my own kitchen and am ready for this next challenge in my career. I’m also delighted to be staying in the south west, to be able to continue to work with all the great local produce and suppliers in our region, and I’m looking forward to working with the talented Gidleigh Park team”.
“We’re absolutely delighted to announce Chris’s appointment as Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park,” says Andrew Brownsword Hotels Stephanie Hocking. “Having long been aware of Chris’s exceptional talent, we were very lucky to secure him as apart from his talent and experience, he shares our vision of serving the ‘very best of Devon’ to our guests at Gidleigh Park’’.
Wignall left the Dartmoor venue late last year to open his own venture. The former Penny Hill Park chef took over Gidleigh Park’s kitchen two years ago from Michael Caines and has retained its two Michelin star rating. The hotel’s restaurant has held two stars since 1998. Wignall has not revealed any further details of his next project, but says it will be announced shortly.