Chef-owner Anna Hansen has decided to step away from her London restaurant the Modern Pantry after more than a decade at the helm.
The Clerkenwell restaurant's head chef Robert McCleary, who joined shortly after the restaurant's opening, will take on the position of executive chef.
Hansen said: "I can't thank the loyal customers of the Modern Pantry enough for making it the incredible success that it is today. I have no doubt that the future is still bright for the restaurant and the next 10 years will be just as exciting as the last.
"I'm moving on to explore other opportunities and I feel very comfortable leaving the Modern Pantry in the extremely capable hands of my good friend Robert. He has been with me since the very beginning and knows the business inside out, so I'm sure it will continue to go from strength to strength."
Des Gunewardena, chief executive and chairman of D&D London, co-owner of the Modern Pantry, said: "I'll be very sad to see Anna leave the Modern Pantry. She is a uniquely talented chef and businesswoman and she should be proud of what she has created. I wish her the best of luck in her future projects, which I'm sure will be huge successes. I'm also very excited to see what the future holds for the restaurant, which I hope with Rob at the helm will continue to flourish."
Hansen was born in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She first came to London in 1992, aged 22, after a degree in business management. She found herself at a loose end, and so a friend persuaded her to join him in the kitchen at the French House, then under Fergus and Margot Henderson. She worked as a kitchen porter, but was soon running the restaurant when the bosses were away.
She bumped into fellow Kiwi chef Peter Gordon while at the French House and he then employed her as sous chef at his first restaurant, Green Street. Later Gordon took Hansen on as pastry chef at the Sugar Club, in Soho, London, and the pair then worked together at the Providores in Marylebone. But after four years in the shadow of Gordon, Hansen decided to go it alone with the Modern Pantry.