Chef Ernst Van Zyl is joining Signature Living as executive chef of its new venture in Liverpool’s Cunard Building.
Currently chef-patron at the Hanging Gate Inn in Cheshire, Van Zyl will head up a brasserie, restaurant, bar and banqueting at the site, starting next week. Van Zyl will continue to be involved with the pub until the end of the year.
Signature Living hopes to transform the building, owned by Liverpool City Council, into a wedding and events venue with a restaurant.
“They’re going to let me give it my all to bring something exciting and amazing to the building and the city,” said Van Zyl.
Originally from South Africa, he came to the UK in October 1998 to join the Hilton Group in Manchester, before moving to the Hilton London Kensington as junior sous chef, followed by a promotion to the London Hilton Park Lane hotel as a senior banqueting chef.
More recently, he was chef-patron at the Lord Clyde in Kerridge just outside Macclesfield, where he achieved three AA rosettes.
Mike Mounfield, Signature Living’s director of food operations, said: “His wealth of experience and culinary knowledge combined makes him the ideal candidate to take on the challenge.”
Signature Living owns the Shankly hotel in the city and the Courthouse hotel in Cardiff. The company also plans to open a hotel in honour of Everton footballer Dixie Dean in Liverpool in 2018, and acquired the Alma De Cuba bar and restaurant in Liverpool’s former St Peter’s Catholic Church earlier this year, with plans to expand the brand and build a hotel.
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