Ollie Couillaud has joined Peyton & Byrne as executive chef at the Royal Academy of Arts, following almost two and a half years at the helm of the Lawn Bistro in Wimbledon Village.
Oliver Peyton appointed the chef to oversee the Royal Academy Restaurant as well as the restaurant and bar at the Keeper's House, which opened at the Academy last autumn. Meanwhile Ivan Simeoli, head chef of the Keeper's House, has left the business to pursue new opportunities.
Commenting on the personnel changes, Peyton told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that one of the reasons Couillaud was brought on board was to support Simeoli and offer a stabilising influence.
"Ivan has been with me for four and a half years and he's definitely one of my babies; I still feel like he's one of my boys," said Peyton. "He's a lovely guy and he genuinely needs some new experiences to complete him as a chef.
"I've always liked the places Ollie has worked and I've always liked him. I need people like him in the business."
Couillaud was head chef at the Lawn Bistro from its opening in September 2011. Prior to that he worked at Chez Bruce from 1994 to 1998, Phil Howard's restaurant the Square, which picked up its second Michelin star in the 1998 Guide, and then La Trompette in Chiswick, as part of the 2001 opening team until 2005.
He went on to spend a year at the Dorchester before joining Tom Aikens at Tom's Kitchen in 2006, and then moving to the Grosvenor House to launch Bord'eaux in 2007.
VIDEO Oliver Peyton shares his plans for the Keeper's House at the Royal Academy of Arts