The Gloucestershire-based Calcot Collection has announced two new leading culinary recruits with the appointment of Richard Davies (pictured) as executive chef of flagship hotel Calcot and Jamie McCallum as head chef of the Painswick.
Davies has taken up his new role at the four-red-AA-star, 35-bedroom Calcot in Tetbury with immediate effect, while McCallum will join the 16-bedroom the Painswick in the village of the same name in September.
As executive chef at Calcot, Davies will be responsible for the hotel’s Conservatory restaurant, which has been headed by Michael Benjamin until earlier this year, as well as working closely with John Jewel, head chef of the Gumstool Inn. The position of executive chef has been vacant since Michael Strenekes left the group in 2014.
Davies joins Calcot from the Celtic Manor in Newport, Gwent, where he was launch head chef of the resort’s Epicure restaurant, which launched in February 2016. He was previously executive chef of the Manor House hotel in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, for eight years, during which time he achieved a Michelin star. Earlier in his career he worked for the Gordon Ramsay Group and the Vineyard in Stockcross, Berkshire.
Richard Ball, executive chairman of the Calcot Collection, said that Davies’ appointment does not mean that Calcot plans to dive into overly-serious fine dining.
“Richard is attracted to our customer-focused approach that is steered without aspirations towards inspectorate judging,” he explained.
“Richard will be developing a range of classically-based British dishes, cooked to perfection but without the fuss and unnecessary level of embellishment that can make eating-out become too high-minded.”
Davies added: “As well as working within such an inspirational team of professionals, I am also looking forward to becoming better acquainted with key local suppliers and producers to adopt the best choices that will drive Calcot’s menus forward without fuss but with seasonal invention.”
Meanwhile, McCallum will take over at Painswick from Michael Bedford, who is to move to Australia, where his wife is originally from. He will oversee the Hearth, a Mediterranean-style, deli-café; a 34-seat restaurant and the Bar.
McCallum has recently worked at restaurant supplier Flying Fish Seafoods and the Waitrose Cookery School, having previously been head chef at the one-Michelin-star Wild Honey restaurant in London. He started his career in Glasgow in 2002.
Ball described McCallum as “spirited and inventive” who has “the punchiness that Michael Bedford has put in place at the Painswick”. He added: “His food will look to locally-sourced produce where and when available. Having worked at the south west’s premier fish supplier, an expert treatment of fish will also be a major focus of Jamie’s menus.”
Videos from The Caterer archives