Burger chain Byron has hired chef and food writer Sophie Michell as its food and drink director as part of a drive to rejuvenate the brand. Michell, who was formerly executive chef at Belgraves Hotel in Mayfair, will develop recipes for the group's 53 restaurants and 'drive Byron's menus in to an exciting new direction', according to the chain. Michell is also part of the team behind Gorgeous Kitchen at Heathrow Terminal 2 and her TV credits include Iron Chef USA and Masterchef.
The Restaurant Group (TRG) has named Andy Hornby, the former boss of HBOS bank, as its new CEO. He will replace departing TRG boss Andy McCue, who is to step down on 30 June due to personal reasons. Hornby joins the c.650-strong restaurant group following its multi-million-pound acquisition of the Wagamama chain and gastropub group Food & Fuel last year.
Helena Puolakka has left D&D London to return to her native Finland after a long career with the restaurant group. She launched Skylon on the South Bank in 2007 and oversaw the restaurant for six years, before opening Nordic-inspired Aster in Victoria in 2017. Puolakka has now joined The Savoy Helsinki as chef patron, while chef Bjoern Wassmuth has taken over at Aster and shifted the menu to a 'European Grand Cafe' offering.
MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 contestant Elisabeth Passedat has been named head chef at The Cleveland Arms in London's Paddington. The 29-year-old, who made it through to the quarter finals on last year's series of the BBC show, joins from D&D London's Aster and previously worked at Pierre Koffmann's restaurant at The Berkeley hotel. Passedat is originally from Paris and has introduced a menu rooted in traditional French cooking.
Fabien Spagnolo and Max Truel
The chefs behind roving pop-up Kitchen FM have permanently joined Crispin in London's Spitalfields following their recent residency at the restaurant. Fabien Spagnolo and Max Truel, who between them have experience at Frenchie, Pollen Street Social and The Ninth, are presiding over a small plates dinner menu inspired by their upbringing in the South of France.
Pip MacDonald has been named head chef at Levan in London’s Peckham. MacDonald began her career at Scott’s and worked abroad in Australia and Hong Kong, before returning to London in 2017 to take over as head chef at Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick’s Merchants Tavern. She is now overseeing the menu at Levan, which focuses on contemporary European cooking and low intervention wines.
The Savoy hotel has promoted Anne Lomas, former general manager at Simpson's in the Strand, to director of restaurants. Lomas will now oversee the in-room offering and all Savoy dining areas, including Kaspar's at The Savoy, Thames Foyer, Melba, Savoy Tea and Simpson's.
Brown's Hotel in London's Mayfair has named Reece Collier as its head pastry chef. Collier trained at Westminster Kingsway and worked at The Grove Hotel with Harry Lomas MBE, where he guided 40 pastry chefs through several National Salon Culinaire competitions. He also appeared on two series of Bake Off: The Professionals, where he reached the semi-finals.
Chris Eden has taken over as executive chef at Gidleigh Park hotel in Devon. He replaces Chris Eden, who stepped down the role after a year behind the stove in January. Eden has moved to Gidleigh from the Driftwood hotel in Cornwall, where he has been head chef for 12 years and maintained a Michelin star for six.
Ernst Van Zyl
Chef Ernst Van Zyl has left The Glazebury pub near Warrington after taking over the kitchen in February. He became proprietor of the pub at the start of the year but said this month that the project had not worked out. Van Zyl previously won three AA rosettes at The Lord Clyde in Kerridge.
Ormer Mayfair at London's Flemings Mayfair hotel has appointed Svetoslav Manolev as head sommelier. He previously worked at wine club 67 PallMall, assisting with curating and overseeing its 4000-strong wine list, and has held roles at Roka and COYA Mayfair. At Ormer he will work closely with chef Shaun Rankin and says he plans to "introduce diners to a new style of wine not previously offered at the restaurant".
The Gleneagles hotel in Scotland has named Daniel Greenock as the new manager at its restaurant The Strathearn, which reopened on 1 May with a new design. A native Scot, Greenock has returned home for the role after working at Marcus Wareing's restaurant at The Berkeley Hotel and Eleven Madison Park in New York. "I’m extremely proud to be taking on this new role at a time of significant transformation for Gleneagles," he says.
Welsh hospitality group The Seren Collection has promoted Hywel Griffith to chef patron and director at its Beach House Restaurant in Oxwich. Griffith launched the restaurant in 2016 and his appointment marks the first time any individual within the company has been offered a directorship and shareholding in any of the businesses. Neil Kedward, managing director of The Seren Collection, says: "Hywel has always had a firm commercial grip on the business and further has become a real mentor to all our restaurant staff and managers. It was only right that somebody showing such extraordinary leadership should have ownership and properly share in its future success."