Nick Bennett has been appointed head chef of Old Downton Lodge in Ludlow following the departure of Karl Martin, who left the restaurant with rooms in July for personal reasons.
Bennett had previously worked as head chef of the three-AA-rosette Restaurant 56, in Sudbury House hotel, Faringdon, Oxfordshire. In 2013 he had been named Sussex Young Chef of the Year and in 2015 reached the finals of BBC Two's MasterChef: The Professionals.
The chef said: "I am really excited to be joining the team at Old Downton Lodge. After visiting the property and surrounding area, it was an easy decision for me to make. Karl Martin has set the standards here and I am extremely grateful for that and hope to carry on the restaurant in the same direction as he has taken it. It is an extremely exciting time for myself and my young family and I can't wait to get started with [owners] Willem, Pippa and the team."
Martin had worked at the restaurant with rooms in Ludlow, Shropshire for the last five years and within the last year the restaurant has been awarded four AA rosettes and shortlisted for the 2019 Cateys Menu of the Year award.