Douglas Balish is set to join the Grove of Narberth hotel in Pembrokeshire as executive chef.
He will take over the reins at the 26-bedroom, four-red-AA-star restaurant on 1 May from Allister Barsby. Barsby is moving to Kent to open his first solo restaurant venture in Hythe, with his partner Alice Bussi, who has been food and beverage manager across the Seren Collection, which encompasses the Grove, Coast in Saundersfoot and the Beach House in Oxwich Bay.
Balish is currently head chef at the Michelin-starred Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham, Surrey, and has previously worked at Bohemia in Jersey and Whatley Manor in Malmesbury, as well as Quay restaurant in Sydney, Australia. In 2014 he joined the Tudor Room, which has held a star since 2016 and was also awarded four AA rosettes last year.
In spring 2018 the Grove announced the launch of two new restaurants following a refurbishment. Further investment is planned in both the restaurant spaces and the kitchens, which will give Balish the opportunity to reinvent the Fernery and Artisan Rooms restaurants.
General manager of the Grove, Thomas Agius Ferrante, said: "Dougie is an exceptional talent and a lovely chap to boot. He was the perfect fit for our business and has the proven ability to inspire the team to progress the quality standards here at the Grove. His desire to be working with us in Pembrokeshire and his palpable enthusiasm for our product was sincere and refreshing."
Balish said: "I am really excited to be taking this important step in my career, working for a venue with the clear stated ambition for the future. Working by the sea in Pembrokeshire, with such a rich larder of local produce on my doorstep, is the perfect role for me."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).