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Michael Carr joins Simon Gueller at the Box Tree in Ilkley

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Michael Carr joins Simon Gueller at the Box Tree in Ilkley

Chef Michael Carr has joined Simon Gueller at the Box Tree in Ilkley as joint head chef.

Carr made the announcement on Instagram, where he wrote: “Simon Gueller and I have joined company and are set to take over the fine dining food scene here in Ilkley Box Tree restaurant.

“I’m super proud to be working alongside this legend, we clicked instantly and I can tell you that magic is already starting to happen here at this iconic restaurant and we plan to elevate the restaurant and the food to new heights… Come down and check out the new and exciting dishes on the menu!”

Gueller, owner and joint head chef, told The Caterer he hadn’t been looking to recruit but after being introduced to Carr – who he described as a “really nice bloke, passionate about the food” – felt they could work well together.

He said: “We are both really, really enjoying it and we’re excited about the food we are doing.”

Carr, who joins the team a month after the departure of former head chef Samira Effa, had previously opened Restaurant 92 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, which closed in January. The restaurant had been open in the city for three years and less than a month earlier The Observer‘s restaurant critic Jay Rayner had praised Carr for taking “admirable risks” in his review.

Gueller said he had overhauled the menu at the Box Tree since Effa’s departure with a focus on depth of flavour.

He added: “We just want to keep improving it and we would love to get accolades in all the guide books, priority number one to start with is satisfying our regular customers.”

Carr added: “The place is incredible, it’s been creating Michelin quality food for years and the opportunity to take it forward to be even better is just something I’m completely amazed about.”

The Box Tree was omitted from the 2019 guide after having held a Michelin star since 2005. The loss led Gueller to return to the renowned Yorkshire kitchen last October.

Great British Menu’s Samira Effa leaves head chef role at the Box Tree in Ilkley >>

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