Andy Johns, head chef at the Petersham hotel in Richmond, Surrey, has unexpectedly resigned from his position after two-and-a-half years at the hotel.
In a recent article in Caterer (22 August 2002, page 36) Johns spoke of his enthusiasm for leading the Petersham's kitchen, which boasts breathtaking views over the River Thames, through a forthcoming refurbishment of the hotel's 77-seat Nightingales restaurant early next year.
He also spoke of his ambition to win greater accolades beyond the two AA rosettes already achieved by the restaurant.
Johns has been replaced by his former senior sous chef, Russell Williams, who arrived at the 60-bedroom Petersham hotel in 2000. Williams, who is 28, previously worked in London at the Orrery, the Halcyon and Chez Nico.
The modern British cuisine that Johns introduced to the hotel will continue to be the focus of Williams's menus. "I like to look at the best of British flavours and how they can blend with French and Mediterranean influences as befit the season," he said. "I don't believe in fuss on the plate - the emphasis has to be on flavour and how the ingredients work alongside one another."
Williams is married to pastry chef Amanda Williams, who is currently on maternity leave from the Petersham Hotel.