Executive chef Richard Davies is to leave the Michelin-starred Manor House hotel in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, after eight and a half years at the property.
He told The Caterer that the decision to leave the five-star, 48-bedroom hotel, owned by Exclusive Hotels and Resorts, had been one of the hardest he has ever taken.
"I fell in love with the hotel the moment I first arrived here and shall be enormously sad to leave," he said.
"However, I decided the time was right for my career to move on. I need to take a risk and am now excited about what lies ahead in the future."
Davies, who arrived at the Manor House in 2006, will leave the hotel on 10 January and hopes to shortly be able to announce his next role.
"Exclusive has been a fantastic company to work for and I believe I shall be leaving the Manor in a good place and the team will continue to fly the flag," he added.
During his tenure as executive chef, the Manor House has won a Michelin star and three AA rosettes. Davies received national recognition when his dessert of strawberries and cream vanilla parfait, strawberry gel, panna cotta and ricotta dumplings won Best Dessert in the BBC's Great British Menu Comic Relief extravaganza in 2013.
Prior to arriving at the Manor House, which played host to the 2015 Hotelier of the Year award lunch this week, following Pecorelli's win last year, Davies worked at Sawyards restaurant in Storrington, where he achieved his first Michelin star, having previously undertaken stints at Homeward Park hotel, Bath, as junior sous chef; Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road, London, as chef de partie; and the Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire, as executive sous chef.
Danny Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels and Resorts, said that Davies will be much missed having brought "an amazing talent and consistency" to the hotel. "He will be tough to replace, but the search has now begun."
The new executive chef at the Manor House will head a team of 16 chefs and four kitchen porters, which looks after the 70-cover Bybrook restaurant and banqueting at the hotel. He or she will also oversee a newly refurbished kitchen which will undergo a £550,000 transformation in the New Year.
Pecorelli is also in the process of appointing a new executive chef for the Manor House's sister property, Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey. Michael Wignall, the current executive chef, will leave the red-AA-star, 123 bedroom hotel, on 4 January, to take up the same position at Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon.