Paul Gayler, executive chef de cuisine at London's Lanesborough, has decided to leave the five-star, luxury Hyde Park -based hotel after 22 years in the post.
The chef's move coincides with managing director Geoffrey Gelardi's decision to close the hotel for its first refurbishment since its opening in 1991.
He joined the London hotel as part of the launch team, and was the driving force behind the culinary direction and success of the hotel's food and beverage operation.
The landmark 93-room hotel, which is managed by St Regis, the luxury brand from Starwood Hotel & Resorts, will close its doors at the end of December for what is expected to be a nine-month project.
Gayler, the 2012 recipient of the award for Outstanding Contribution to the industry at the Hotel Cateys, told Caterer: "After 22 great years in helping to establish a world-renowned, luxury hotel, I am leaving to pursue other avenues. As you know, the hotel is closing at the end of the year for what will be fairly major internal renovations, and so I have decided that the time is right for me to look at other possibilities."
He added that after 40 years in the industry, he hoped to find something that would "continue to stimulate my passions as it has done throughout my career".
In 1982, Gayler was appointed head chef at London's Inigo Jones, where he was credited with revolutionising the menu with the introduction of "vegetarian haute cuisine". Disappointed by the lack of gastronomic vegetarian dishes served by his contemporaries, he introduced the "menu pottage", a critically acclaimed seven-course gourmet vegetarian menu.
During his career, Gayler, the proud author of 22 cookery books, has won the Mouton Cadet chef competition twice, and was a finalist, twice, in Le Prix Culinaire International Pierre Taittinger. He was appointed MBE for services to the hospitality industry and charities at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours in June last year. He has also been responsible, along with many friends and colleagues in the industry, for raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Chef for Heroes charity, which raised money for injured personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
While his career has been dominated by the restaurant and hotel world, Gayler said that he would be open to opportunities from different sectors of the industry.
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