Weston - who was announced as the Malmesbury hotel's interim executive chef as Keating departed - will oversee the full food offering including Whatley Manor's two-Michelin-star flagship The Dining Room, Grey’s Brasserie, room service, afternoon tea, and private/events dining.
The chef - who joined Whatley Manor as sous chef in August 2018 and was promoted to head chef of The Dining Room in October 2020 - will launch a new menu for the hotel's flagship restaurant in early February.
“We feel very lucky to be moving into Whatley’s next culinary chapter with Ricki at the helm," says the Wiltshire hotel's general manager Sue Williams.
"He brings to the role a fresh focus on the finest British ingredients and some interesting traditional cooking techniques, all of which perfectly complement our sustainability goals. I feel very excited to watch Ricki lead the team to deliver more exceptional eating experiences for our guests.”
Originally from Storrington, West Sussex, Weston’s CV includes the Michelin-starred The Pass restaurant in West Sussex under Matt Gillan and a stint at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham in which he progressed from chef de partie to junior sous chef.
“I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity to head up such a quality and committed team, and in such a fabulous kitchen, all in the beautiful setting of Whatley,” he says.
“The hotel has had a long history of being one of the best UK foodie destinations, so I have a lot to live up to, and I cannot wait to start developing my recipes and to evolving a whole new dining offering.”
Keating left Whatley Manor at the end of last year to focus on his other business ventures, including his recently launched Lunar restaurant in Staffordshire.
Keating joined the Wiltshire hotel as executive chef in 2016 and has attracted a string of accolades, including two Michelin stars for its The Dining Room as well as the Michelin Young European Chef of the Year award.