Chef Richard Allen joins Rockliffe Hall
Chef Richard Allen is to become the new executive chef of Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth, County Durham.
Allen will take over the running of the Orangery at Rockliffe Hall in January and will also work with the teams in Rockliffe Hall's other two restaurants, the Clubhouse and the Spa Brasserie.
Before joining Rockliffe Hall, Allen was executive chef of the Michelin-starred Tassili restaurant at the five-star Grand Jersey Hotel.
As well Michelin star, which he has held since 2011, Allen has also held three AA Rosettes for eight years, as well as winning the Hotel Chef of the Year (for a hotel with fewer than 250 covers) at the Hotel Cateys 2012, while he was working at the Grand Jersey hotel. He was also named the Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef of the Year in 2012.
Originally from Poole in Dorset, Allen has relocated to the North East with his wife and two sons and joins Rockliffe Hall's new chief executive, Eamonn Elliott.
Elliott has worked at a number of venues across the UK and Ireland, including eight years as general manager of the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire and manager of the AA Irish Hotel of the Year, the Mount Falcon and Spa in County Mayo.
For the past five years, Elliott has been general manager of the Grand Jersey Hotel. He has also won numerous awards and is the current holder of the Institute of Directors Young Director of the Year.
Speaking about joining Rockliffe Hall, Richard Allen said: "Rockliffe Hall and the North East have so much to offer and I have so many ideas that I am really looking forward to sharing. The team in place is so enthusiastic and, together, I am confident that The Orangery will become the region's flagship restaurant offering a mix of informal yet informed dining."
Elliott added: "This is an incredibly exciting time for Rockliffe Hall as we have so many plans that will become clear throughout 2015. Both Richard and I are committed to making Rockliffe Hall the very best hotel, spa, restaurant and golf resort in the country. Richard is one of the UK's most celebrated chefs and is passionate about working with the team at Rockliffe Hall to set The Orangery apart from any other restaurant in the North of England."
In November, Rockliffe Hall celebrated its fifth anniversary since opening as a 61-bedroom hotel, home to three restaurants, a world-class golf course, a spa and wedding and conference facilities.
Kenny Atkinson was previously director of food at the hotel but announced he was leaving in April 2013 to open his own restaurant. He ran his eponymous fine dining restaurant Kenny Atkinson at the Orangery but was unable to regain the Michelin star he previously won at St Martin's on the Isles of Scilly and nearby Seaham Hall.
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