Michelin-starred chef Steve Drake will leave Drake’s restaurant in Ripley, Surrey at the end of August, as he and his wife Serina finalise their divorce.
The chef proprietor will pursue other ventures including continuing his involvement with nearby pub and restaurant the Anchor.
Serina Drake will remain as owner of Drake’s and a new head chef will be appointed.
Steve Drake, who won the Roux Scholarship in 2001 having previously reached the final in 1999 and 2000, told The Caterer: “The decision to leave and hand the business to Serina was mine. It was the most logical way to separate in the end.
“After working so hard to build up a successful business it was a tough decision but the right one for everyone involved.”
He added: “I am exploring opportunities for the future and I’m very excited about what happens next. To be honest I needed a new challenge.
“I see this as an incredible opportunity for me and the next stage of my career.”
The pair took over the Michel’s restaurant site on Ripley High Street and transformed it into Drake’s in 2004, after Steve left his head chef position at Drakes on the Pond in Abinger Hammer, Surrey.
Drake’s earned a Michelin-star the following year and it has retained one ever since.
While food-led pub the Anchor, which holds two AA rosettes and has Michael Wall-Palmer as head chef, was bought in October 2013.
Steve and Selina entered into a business partnership with Chris and Lisanne Mealing to run the 3,000 sq ft, Grade-II listed pub, some of which dates back to the 16th century.
Drake added: “I have taken Drake’s as far as I could and I am immensely proud of the wonderful team that works incredibly hard each day.”
He said he hopes the transition is a smooth one as staff have been informed about his decision.
The couple were married for 16 years and have been separated for almost three years.
A statement released on behalf of Steve and Serina Drake this morning (1 August), said: “For both restaurants it will continue to be business as usual.”