Chef Lee Westcott is to step down from his role as head chef of Pensons restaurant with rooms on the historic Netherwood Estate just a year after it launched. He will be replaced by former Restaurant Nathan Outlaw and Gidleigh Park head chef Chris Simpson, who will join the team in January. Westcott, who closed his well-regarded London restaurant Typing Room last year, is set to return to the capital in 2020.
Alyn Williams is threatening to take legal action against The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair after being sacked from his chef patron role after nine years. Williams was dismissed from the hotel in October after entertaining friends in the restaurant on a Sunday lunchtime, when it was closed for normal service. He says he has used the dining room in a similar way several times with the knowledge of management. The hotel says it is 'grateful' for the chef's 'hard work' and states on its website that Williams is no longer involved in the restaurant - though it continues to use his name.
Great British Menu contender Andrew Sheridan has been appointed executive chef at Craft Dining Rooms in Birmingham. He will also oversee the kitchen at the Craft English Garden, part of a collaboration between Craft Dining Room owners Sam and Emma Morgan and Opheem chef director Aktar Islam, when it opens next year. Sheridan joins from The Stargazy Inn in Port Isaac, Cornwall, where he has overseen the kitchen since April. He represented Wales on the BBC’s Great British Menu in 2018 and 2019.
D&D London has appointed Harvey Ayliffe as executive chef at Bluebird Chelsea and Bluebird Café White City. Ayliffe has spent the last five years as head chef at grill restaurant 34 Mayfair, and previously cooked at Rules Restaurant and J Sheekey. He replaces Simon Gregory, who left Bluebird earlier this year to join The Ivy Collection as executive chef.
Elliott Grover has taken over as executive chef at Duck & Waffle London. He is understood to have replaced Daniel Barbosa, who took the reins from Tom Cenci last year. Grover, who previously cooked at Hix Soho and Scott’s Mayfair, has introduced several new dishes to Duck & Waffle’s sky-high dining room, including twice-baked Keen’s cheddar souffle with shaved winter truffles; and Jersey rock oysters.
Pete Murt has been appointed head chef at Rick and Jill Stein’s flagship Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall. He replaces Stephane Delourme, who has moved to a group chef position to train the next generation across the 12 Stein restaurant. Padstow-born Murt joined the Stein team in 2000 as kitchen porter at St Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow, before progressing through the company’s chef apprenticeship programme. He left after six years to work at Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus in London, before returning to the Stein group in 2015.
Fledgling London fried chicken concept Thunderbird has appointed Paul Gilchrist as its new CEO, replacing Marcel Khan. Khan has left the business after one year, during which he helped grow the group to five London restaurants. Gilchrist spent six years at Mitchell’s & Butlers, and has held roles at Innventure, Brakspear and Carluccio’s.
Mini golf and restaurant concept Puttshack has made two senior hires as it gears up for further growth. Paul Hunter has joined as operations director, while Chris Lincoln is now head of learning and development. Hunter previously worked as operations director at casual dining brands Prezzo and Tortilla, while Lincoln was head of learning and development at Be At One – where he created the company’s training academy and bartender certificate. The pair join Puttshack as it prepares for further growth after completeing a £30m equity raise earlier this year.