Chef Frances Atkins has decided to remain at the Yorke Arms following its sale to serial entrepreneur Jonathan Turner.
Turner acquired the Michelin-starred, 16-bedroom hotel in Ripon, North Yorkshire for an undisclosed sum. Atkins had put the hotel up for sale earlier this year with a price tag of around £1.75m, and announced her intention to depart the business.
Instead, Atkins, the country’s first female chef to win a Michelin star at the property in 2003 and one of only six female Michelin-starred chefs in the UK, will stay on at the 18th century coaching house with her established team including general manager John Tullett, head chef Roger Olive and Kirsty Beverley, who looks after housekeeping.
Atkins said: “We were all set to embark for pastures new, but Jonathan’s deep-rooted love of Yorkshire, his style and panache are very infectious and it really struck a chord with me. He has a genuine enthusiasm to create something even more special here and we hit it off straight away.”
Turner, chief executive of the Bayford Group and owner of Bowcliffe Hall near Wetherby in West Yorkshire, will spearhead a high-end refurbishment programme at the historic property.
He said: “I have always admired the drive and talent of Frances who is respected for her culinary creativity and is a champion of local, seasonal produce. We share a collective passion to further enrich and enhance Yorkshire’s rich heritage and I’m looking forward to working closely with her and her talented team.”
Specialist hotel consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), took the property to market.
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