Following 21 years at Gidleigh Park in Devon, chef Michael Caines will hang up his apron there for the last time in January 2016.
The renowned chef has built up a hugely impressive reputation for the business, retaining the restaurant’s two Michelin stars every year for 17 consecutive years, as well as being named AA Chef of the Year in 2007 and awarded an MBE in 2006.
The news concludes a 12 year partnership with owners Christina and Andrew Brownsword, who purchased Gidleigh Park in 2005.
Caines will leave on January 3 2016 to pursue other ventures in Devon, Shropshire, Wales and his first restaurant launch in Abu Dhabi.
He said: “Leaving Gidleigh Park will be an emotional parting. We have enjoyed some truly wonderful years and I’m immensely proud of what we — my team and I, as well as everyone involved with Gidleigh Park — have achieved over more than two decades.
“I leave Gidleigh Park with the fondest memories of one of my favourite places on earth, served by an excellent and caring team. I’m proud and confident that we have created a lasting legacy and that whoever takes over from me will be able to build on the fabulous platform that we have created. Under the custodianship of the Brownswords, Gidleigh Park will remain in secure hands. I wish them all the best for a successful future.”
Caines joined Gidleigh Park as head chef in 1994, when it was under the ownership of Paul and Kay Henderson, and his original cuisine that used the best of local produce immediately made an impact.
In 1994, The Independent awarded Caines the Chef of the Year title, while in 1999 Gidleigh Park was awarded its second Michelin star. In 2002 he was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ at the Cateys Awards.
The Brownswords’ purchase of Gidleigh Park in 2005 was followed by an extensive restoration of the whole property including the addition of a new wing.
Andrew Brownsword commented: “I’d like to thank Michael for a wonderful 12 years working together, and all his efforts to keep pushing and improving our offering, not only at Gidleigh Park but also throughout our Brownsword Hotels group.”
Michael’s last day at Gidleigh Park will be January 3rd 2016, before the hotel’s annual one week closure. A new executive head chef for Gidleigh Park has been appointed and Brownsword Hotels expects to announce this appointment later in October.
Michael will continue to offer Michael Caines Restaurants at ABode Manchester, Chester and Exeter until spring 2015 when these restaurants will relaunch under new branding.