The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire, has appointed Paul Leonard as head chef of its three-AA-rosette Burlington Restaurant.
Leonard, who will take up his new position at the four-red-AA-star, 40-bedroom hotel at the end of July, is currently head chef at the one-Michelin-star Isle of Eriska in Oban, Argyll, where he moved two years ago. He will replace Paul Evans, who left the hotel last month.
Leonard was previously sous chef at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, which holds two Michelin stars.
Earlier in his career he worked as senior sous chef at the Samling in Windermere, Cumbria; sous chef at the Feversham Arms in Helmsley, North Yorkshire; and commis chef as Pétrus, London.
Passionate about home-grown fruit and vegetables, Leonard said that one of his greatest inspirations is organic kitchen garden specialist Ken Holland, once head gardener at L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, who now runs his own vegetable supply business in Northumberland. The friendship encouraged Leonard to create his own kitchen garden on Eriska.
The move to the Devonshire Arms, which is part of Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, marks a return to Leonard's home county, where he was born in Hull. He now aims to make the Burlington "one of the most talked-about restaurants" in the UK.
"My style of cooking is light, non-fussy and natural; freshness and quality are key, so I am blessed to have such a wonderful rural location for the sourcing of the required ingredients needed to deliver my approach," he said.
Adam Dyke, general manager of the Devonshire Arms, added: "Paul has an exceptional pedigree and we know he will certainly be taking full advantage of the kitchen gardens, beehives, and the wild and estate-farmed produce from the Duke's estate."
Last month, Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, announced that it was going to invest £100,000 annually to enable the Burlington's kitchen brigade to increase from 11 to 15. As a result, chefs will now work 48 hours a week over four days.
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