People on the move in hospitality: October 2018

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

People on the move in hospitality: October 2018
From a departure at a Michelin-starred restaurant group to changes at the top of a casual dining brand, we round-up who's been on the move this month.

André Garrett

André Garrett is to leave his eponymous restaurant at Berkshire’s luxury Clivedon House hotel to join The Corinithia Hotel London as executive chef in January 2019. His new role will see him relaunch the Northall restaurant with a “new culinary direction”, including a broader Mediterranean-influenced fish and seafood selection.

Neil Borthwick and Pippa MacDonald

Neil Borthwick has left his role as executive chef at Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch to begin cooking upstairs at Soho’s French House pub. The chef opened Merchants Tavern with his partner Angela Hartnett and Canteen owners Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton-Malone in 2013. The restaurant’s sous chef Pippa MacDonald has now been promoted to head chef following Borthwick’s departure.


Italian restaurant group Vapiano has appointed Roberto Moretti as its new CEO. The South African spent ten years as operations director at Zizzi in the UK, before holding managing director roles at Bill’s and Coco Di Mama. His appointment comes as Vapiano opens its latest restaurant in Tower Bridge, with further sites set to launch in London’s Tottenham Court Road and Canary Wharf in the next few months. Outgoing MD Phil Sermon has stepped down after six years to pursue a new business venture.

Claire Wright


Claire Wright, former financial director of Gary Usher’s Elite Bistro’s of the World group, has been promoted to managing director. Wright joined the company three years ago initially to take care of the accounts, but Usher says she “totally changed the direction of the business”. “Claire made sure that my ambitious, sometimes reckless, expansion plans were backed up with careful planning and meticulous financial scrutiny,” says Usher. “I am so proud that she has accepted the position of MD, which can only enhance and compliment the group as we move forward.” Elite Bistro’s recently opened its fifth restaurant, Pinion in Prescot, and will launch Kala in Manchester in February 2019.

Jitin Joshi


London’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana has named Jitin Joshi as its new executive chef. He will oversee the menus at the restaurant alongside chefs Sid Ahuja and Vipin Gairola, as well as working with owners JKS Restaurants on “new projects and expansion” going forward.

Karl O’Dell


Michelin-starred restaurant and champagne bar Texture has appointed Karl O’Dell as head chef. With 15 years of culinary experience, Karl joins from Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus and will work with owner and chef patron Aggi Sverrisson to lead a team of 14. More recently, Karl was one of 10 finalists for National Chef of the Year 2018.

Merlin Labron-Johnson


Portland and Clipstone chef Marlin Labron-Johnson has stepped away from the Woodhead Restaurant Group to focus on “new and exciting projects”. The chef returned to London from mainland Europe to open Portland in 2015 at the age of 23, and it won a Michelin star in 2016. He says he is looking to launch a restaurant next year, but nothing is yet confirmed. He will continue to work with The Conduit members club in London, and with charity Help Refugees.

John Burton-Race


John Burton-Race is back in the kitchen less than two months after resigning from the trouble-hit Richardson Hotel Group. The chef has temporarily joined The Millbrook Inn pub and restaurant in Devon as head chef. Burton-Race, who is a regular customer of the pub, has introduced a new menu including pork belly with apple, celeriac and calvados jus. He resigned from Richardson Hotels in August after the company went in to administration earlier this year. The chef tweeted that he is still looking for a permanent executive chef role.

Andrew Logie


Andrew Logie is the new head chef at the Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, situated in the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian. Logie has over 10 years’ experience as a chef, and joined the team as demi chef in 2013, working his way up through the ranks to lead the team of ten. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2013, and has maintained it ever since.

Ben Watson


Ben Watson is now permanent general manager at The Bridge Inn in Ratho. Originally trained as a chef, Watson stepped in as temporary GM at the former AA Pub of the Year for Scotland following the departure of the previous manager. He will continue to oversee the kitchen brigade and menu development, as well as playing a larger role in front of house and day to day running of the business.

Nuno Goncalves


D&D London has appointed Nuno Goncalves as the new executive chef at Quaglino’s, it’s restaurant and late-night venue. It marks a return to the group for the Portuguese-born chef, who previously oversaw D&D’s Le Pont de la Tour restaurant. He will start introducing new dishes to Quaglino’s this year, including wider vegetarian and vegan options, before launching an entirely new menu in January 2019.

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