Local boys James Trevaskis and Oliver Stephens have returned to the Isle of Wight to run the restaurant and kitchen at the Priory Bay hotel, where their hospitality careers first began.
The childhood friends, who were both raised on the island and attended the same school, both started their professional lives at the hotel before going to hone their skills in London, Paris and Copenhagen.
Stephens returns as head chef, having previously worked in the two Michelin-starred Les Ambassadeurs, at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. Most recently he spent two years at Noma in Copenhagen, which was voted the best restaurant in the world for the last three years.
Commenting on his return to the Prior Bay kitchen, Stephens said that while he had learnt a considerable amount in his time working at some of the top restaurants in Europe, he always knew he would return to the Isle of Wight.
"The Island is such an inspiring place for me and it's just incredible how much beautiful produce is available on our doorstep," he said. "Growing up on the island, gave me the opportunity to go fishing, crabbing and hunting for local Bembridge prawns, plus foraging for herbs, berries and mushrooms. The Priory Bay estate also offers a wealth of natural food resources."
Meanwhile Trevaskis rejoins the Priory Bay as restaurant manager, following a stint at Gauthier Soho, where he was head sommelier.
Andrew Palmer, owner of Priory Bay Hotel, added: "We have always been passionate about food and wine at Priory Bay and are delighted two of our most talented alumni have returned, bringing with them their unique skills which will help to create a fantastic food and wine experience at the hotel."
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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