Acorn award winner Joe Walker has joined Luton Hoo hotel in Bedfordshire as head chef of the fine-dining Wernher restaurant.
Walker joined the 80-cover, two-AA-rosette British Wernher from Anglian Country Inns where he held the position of executive chef of Hermitage Rd bar and restaurant in Hertfordshire.
The restaurant had previously been overseen by Ruth Hansom, who left earlier this year to take up the head chef position at Pomona's in London's Notting Hill.
Walker said: "I'm so excited to be taking the helm at the Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo and looking forward to leading the team into this exciting new chapter. I love getting out into the community, seeing what's going on in the British food scene and using my training experience to help other young chefs find their way in our evolving industry.
"With its marble walls and chandeliers, the Wernher Restaurant is very luxurious. I can't wait to get involved and bring a new spin on the classic dishes."
Mark Rainbow, Luton Hoo Estates head chef, added: "We are delighted to welcome Joe to the team here at Luton Hoo, where he will head up our fine-dining two-AA-Rosette Wernher Restaurant. Joe brings with him not only drive, passion, and experience in busy kitchens, but as a 2019 Acorn Award winner and graduate of the catering college system, a great dedication to the wider industry. We are committed to nurturing hospitality talent and look forward to working with Joe on the development of the Wernher Restaurant, building upon Joe's formative years as a chef."
The Wernher restaurant at the five-AA-star Bedfordshire property is named after Sir Julius Wernher, who bought Luton Hoo in 1903 and transformed the property into a luxury country house.
The property is owned by the Elite Hotels group, which also owns Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex, the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne and Tylney Hall in Hampshire.