The former executive head chef at the devastated Royal Clarence hotel has joined the newly opened Paschoe House hotel.
Alex Gibbs (pictured) joined the 10-bedroom property in Crediton, Devon after losing his job when the Royal Clarence in Exeter burned down in October 2016.
Gibbs, who also previously worked at Southernhay House and the Galley restaurant in Exeter, said: "All the staff from the Royal Clarence, many of whom had worked together for years and years, became unemployed overnight. It was soul-destroying, not to mention incredibly sad, to watch the venue that we'd loved, burn to the ground."
The owner of the hotel, Tabitha Amador-Christie, said: "As soon as I heard from Alex, I knew that I'd be a fool not to appoint him as our new head chef. The food at the Royal Clarence had such an excellent reputation, so I knew that we'd be in safe hands."
Paschoe House has opened to the public as a family-run country house hotel. The estate dates back to the 13th century; the current house was completed in 1850, designed by John Hayward, the architect behind Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum and several Oxford University colleges.
The Amador family acquired the property in 2000 for around £600,000, and since 2007 have spent £1.1m renovating the house, re-building the demolished west wing and improving the estate.
Gibbs added: "It's wonderful to be part of something from the very beginning. I have the opportunity to create the sort of menu that will make the food at Paschoe House stand out from its competitors, and that is very exciting indeed."
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