Former Von Essen hotel the Samling, in the Lake District, has appointed Ian Swainson as head chef.
Swainson, who was a finalist in the ITV show Britain's Best Dish, joins the 11-bedroom hotel from Alan Murchison's Michelin-starred L'Ortolan in Reading, where he was acting head chef.
He was previously head chef at former Von Essen hotel Seaham Hall in County Durham, and spent four years at Murchison's La Bécasse in Ludlow under Will Holland.
Last October, the Samling, overlooking Lake Windermere in Cumbria, was taken over by private buyers off a guide price of £6m following the collapse of Von Essen. The hotel held a Michelin star in 2010 and 2011, but lost it in the 2012 guide following the move of former head chef Nigel Mendham to Dukes hotel in London.
Commenting on his appointment Swainson said: "The owners have ambitious plans. They are looking to take the Samling from being one of the top hotels in the country to being one of the best hotels in the world. The restaurant will be a key part of this transformation so when I heard that I had been selected to be part of the Samling project I was absolutely delighted.
"I am also excited to have the opportunity to work with local Cumbrian produce on a daily basis. When visiting the area I was astounded by both the wealth and uniqueness of product on the doorstep from Herdwick Mutton on the local fells to langoustines in the Irish Sea. Cumbria really is the perfect place for a chef."
General manager Alasdair Elwick added: "To have recruited one of the top young chefs in the country is a real coup for the Samling and Cumbria. We are looking forward to an exciting and successful future."
By Kerstin Kühn
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