Italian chef Massimo Riccioli is to leave the Corinthia Hotel in London just a year after opening Massimo's Restaurant & Oyster Bar.
The chef, who also runs La Rosetta in Rome, will depart after the hotel decided not to renew his contract. However, the restaurant will continue to run as Massimo's, with the existing team reporting to the hotel's executive chef Garry Hollihead.
Riccioli's departure comes after Massimo's failed to impress the food critics, who largely loved the restaurant's David Collins Studio designed interiors but were less favourable about the food.
A spokeswoman for the 294-bedroom Corinthia hotel, which opened last April, told Caterer and Hotelkeeper the relationship with Riccioli had been successful.
"Chef Massimo Riccioli has been involved with the Corinthia project for over three years," she said. "His brief was to help establish the hotel's speciality seafood restaurant under his founding principles. This has been a very successful partnership and after this assistance, guidance and direction, his contract has now come to an end."
She added: "The intention since original conception has always been to keep the name of Massimo's Restaurant & Oyster Bar. It is now an established name on the London restaurant scene, and the concept continues to remain faithful to the original values and culinary philosophy behind the start-up partnership."
Massimo's Restaurant & Oyster Bar comprises a 150-seat restaurant including a 50-seat oyster bar and an 18-seat private dining room with its own kitchen. The Corinthia also has the Northall restaurant, which celebrates the best of British artisanal produce with Hollihead at its helm.
The hotel also features the largest hotel spa in London, ESPA Life at Corinthia, with 14 treatment rooms, a second salon in the capital from Daniel Galvin and Harrods' first hotel store.
By Kerstin Kühn
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