Fernando and Kristy Stovell, the former joint head chefs of London's Cuckoo Club, have taken over the Cloche Hat restaurant in Surrey.
The couple, who also ran London's Wellington Club as joint head chefs for nearly five years, plan to relaunch the 55-year-old restaurant in Chobham in September. The Stovells have acquired the site from its previous owners, the Elliott family, who ran it for 25 years.
Mexico-born Fernando, who has appeared on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen and previously also worked with Eric Chavot at the then two-Michelin-starred Capital hotel, said the couple would continue to run the restaurant in its current guise for the moment but plans to relaunch it with a new name in the summer.
"We will close for two weeks in August and give the restaurant a mild refurbishment to update it and make it more modern," he said.
"The restaurant has a lovely 16-seat private dining room upstairs and we plan to serve tasting menus and run private events there."
Fernando describes his cookery style as contemporary European. Typical dishes on his menu include caramelised hand-caught Scottish scallops, chorizo, potatoes and walnut dressing; braised Berkshire pork belly in Asian flavours, white beans, coconut milk, pickled plum; and dark chocolate mousse, ginger, short bread and confit pears. The menu is priced £30 for courses and £38 for three.
By Kerstin Kühn
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