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John Campbell to leave the Vineyard for Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park

20 July 2009 by
John Campbell to leave the Vineyard for Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park

Two-Michelin-starred chef John Campbell has announced his decision to leave the award-winning Vineyard at Stockcross to join Dorchester Collection's new country house estate and spa, Coworth Park, later this year, Caterersearch can exclusively reveal.

The double-Catey-award-winning chef is due to quit his role as executive chef and head of food and beverage at the Vineyard at the end of August and join Coworth Park, near Ascot, as its director of cuisine and food and beverage in October. The property is expected to open in May 2010

Commenting on his decision to join Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park, Campbell said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the creation and development of what promises to be one of the UK's finest hotels. I am thrilled to have been asked to join the team and we have a clear goal to set a new benchmark in the UK for country house hotels.

"A vital ingredient will be creating an acclaimed restaurant loved by hotel guests and local diners alike and building a food and beverage operation that will provide the ultimate in cuisine, whether it's afternoon tea for two on the lawn or a wedding for 300 people."

Coworth Park is a Georgian manor house estate and spa set in 240 acres of private Royal Berkshire parkland. There will be 70 bedrooms and suites in total with 30 in the main house and 40 in the converted stable block and cottages.

Campbell will be responsible for two restaurants - a fine-dining restaurant in the main house seating approximately 65 seats and a larger, informal restaurant in the converted barn, with its own outdoor terrace. He will also be accountable for the dining in the hotel's four private function rooms and marquee that can host events for up to 300 guests.

Roland Fasel, UK regional director for Dorchester Collection commented: "We are delighted that John is going to be joining us. At Dorchester Collection we are passionate about offering our guests the very best cuisine that the city or country has to offer. At Coworth Park we are creating the UK's finest country house hotel and that means also having the finest cuisine in the UK - John is undoubtedly the right man for the job."

Campbell is the second high-profile departure from the Vineyard in as many months - general manager Nicolas Peth announced his departure from the Vineyard in June and leaves the hotel at the end of this week. Peth is joining the Thailand-based Sixth Senses hotel group. The Vineyard's managing director, Andrew McKenzie, is the current Hotelier of the Year.

Dorchester Collection has some of the world's most famous chefs working within its hotels, between them notching up a total of 10 Michelin-stars across seven hotels. These include two three-Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris - Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée and Yannick Alleno at Le Meurice, the two-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester in London and the two-Michelin-starred Gilt restaurant at the New York Palace in New York.

Vineyard at Stockcross boss joins Thai hotel group >>

Watch double-Catey winner John Campbell's masterclass >>

Interview with Andrew McKenzie, Hotelier of the Year 2008 >>

By Amanda Afiya

E-mail your comments to Amanda Afiya here.

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