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Andreas Antona backs Adam Bennett on solo restaurant venture

Andreas Antona backs Adam Bennett on solo restaurant venture

Simpsons chef-patron Andreas Antona is to take over the Cross in Kenilworth, putting his head chef and Bocuse d'Or candidate Adam Bennett in charge.

Bennett, previously head chef at Michelin-starred Simpsons, will be chef director when Antona takes over the running of the property later this month.

He achieved the best result ever for a UK candidate when he competed in the Bocuse d'Or finals this January, supported by fellow Simpsons' chef and 2013 Acorn Award winner Kristian Curtis. Team UK brought home two awards and placed fourth out of 24 countries.

Andreas, who will take over the site at the end of June and will be on hand to share his knowledge and experience during the bedding-in period, commented: "We've been looking for a larger premises for some time now and the Cross provides us with an ideal space and setting for Adam to set up his first dining venture.

"We'll spend the first few months getting to know the team, the location, the pub and its regulars so that we're all set for an official re-launch later in the year."

The Cross, a Charles Wells Brewery-owned 70-cover pub with large garden, has been run by Howard Grundy and Jon Sharp of the Tasty Pub Company for the past ten years.

Meanwhile Bennett has been replaced at Simpsons by Matt Cheal, who has worked up the ranks since he joined the team in 2000. Luke Tipping, will continue in his role as chef director.

Bennett added: "I'm sure that many chefs dream of running their own restaurant and I'm very grateful to Andreas for giving me the opportunity to bring my own personal touch to the Cross.

"Thanks to Andreas, I have another exciting challenge ahead of me which, coupled with our success in the Bocuse d'Or, looks set to make 2013 a year to remember."

The team is expected to announce further details of their plans for the Cross in the coming weeks.

In separate news, Bennett has been announced as the next Bocuse d'Or candidate as he prepares for the European finals set to take place in Stockholm next May.

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