Former Glenapp Castle head chef Matt Worswick has left his post in Scotland to become chef-director at Southport restaurant the Warehouse Kitchen and Bar.
The two-AA rosette, Bib Gourmand, 80-seat restaurant is co-owned by restaurateur Paul Adams and footballer Steven Gerrard, and will see a complete overhaul of its menu.
Situated very close to the four-star Vincent Hotel, it will continue to operate as its "sister" property, although separate from the hotel itself, which won the Best Independent Marketing Campaign Catey in 2013.
Worswick, from Liverpool, was at Glenapp Castle, in Ballantrae, Ayrshire for just 12 months, and has previously worked with David Everitt-Matthias at Le Champignon Sauvage and Kenny Atkinson at St Martin's.
He will work closely with Adams and the existing six-person kitchen brigade and seven-person front-of-house staff to redevelop the restaurant menu in a bid to introduce a more relaxed-dining feel. His role will also see him involved in the business side of the restaurant.
The soft launch is planned for 2 March, ahead of an official opening later that month.
The new menu will feature dishes such as chateaubriand for two with duck fat chips, rice pudding and crème brûlée.
Worswick explained that he would not be chasing a star at the Warehouse at first, but instead trying to focus on offering a high-quality product.
The restaurant will charge around £20 for three courses, plus more for cheese at the dinner service. Worswick called the approach "bold" with "strong, simple flavours".
He said that he saw the new post as a more permanent position than his role at Glenapp. He said: "I achieved everything I wanted to at Glenapp Castle. It gave me a stepping stone for getting the [Michelin] star. But I don't see the Warehouse as a stepping stone, I see it in the long-term; I think it's got a very exciting future."
He added: "Very rarely in the North West does a job come up that ticks so many boxes. Working with someone like Paul was far too good of an opportunity to turn down… and it will be great to be nearer my family, as I've been away for nine years."
He will move to the new location with his wife, who will also work with the restaurant manager at the site.