Paul Leonard to move to Wildsmith Hotels’ Forest Side for head chef role

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Paul Leonard is to move to the role of head chef at The Forest Side in Grasmere this November, following the departure of Kevin Tickle.

Leonard will join the Michelin-starred, four-AA-Rosette restaurant and hotel, part of the Wildsmith Hotels portfolio later this year from his position with The Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey where he has been since 2017.

Kevin Tickle was part of the opening team at Forest Side in 2016, and won a Michelin star for the hotel just eight months after launch. He announced this month that he is step down to pursue other ventures.

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Prior to 2017 when Leonard was appointed head chef at The Devonshire Arms, he retained a star at The Isle of Eriska on the west coast of Scotland and worked with the likes of Marcus Wareing and Andrew Fairlie.

At The Devonshire Arms, he won 4 AA Rosettes within the first year at the hotel’s Burlington Restaurant.

Richard Palmer, managing director of the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group commented: “Paul has been a great asset to our team – along with the many accolades he has secured in a relatively short time, he has perhaps even more significantly built and inspired a loyal, motivated team around him, comprising of 14 chefs and 3 kitchen porters.

From this position of strength, we will continue to develop strong links with local suppliers and the extended community, and further develop our sustainable ethos. We are looking forward to the recruitment process to find another talent to drive the business forward.”

Owner of The Forest Side, Andrew Wildsmith, says of the appointment: “I’ve followed Paul’s career with interest over the last few years. He’s a great chef, a great guy and I can’t wait for him to join the team at Forest Side.”

General manager Alasdair Elwick says: “Myself and the team are thrilled to be welcoming Paul to Grasmere. His extensive experience and passion for local produce make him the ideal fit to take the helm at Forest Side, where we continue to go from strength to strength in our efforts to showcase the best of Cumbria’s remarkable larder. We look forward to revealing further details in due course.”

Lake District based Wildsmith Hotels is headed up by Andrew Wildsmith and comprises The Ryebeck and Hipping Hall, alongside The Forest Side. 

Tags : APPOINTMENTSCAREERSDevonshire ArmshotelsWildsmith Hotels
Zoe Monk

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