Greg Malouf, head chef at the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, has left the restaurant after less than a year at its helm.
Malouf, who joined the garden centre restaurant last spring as the replacement for Skye Gyngell, has returned to his native Australia. The move comes just weeks after he retained the restaurant's Michelin star.
Despite Malouf previously insisting that "he was here to stay", a spokeswoman for Petersham Nurseries said his appointment had only been temporary.
"Greg was booked as a guest chef consultant to cover the spring and summer period, a role that he completed with great success," she said.
"The owners, the Boglione family, are very happy with the kitchen team at Petersham all of whom have benefitted enormously from the experience of Greg's guest tenure. Petersham is planning to repeat the experience with a different chef and will announce details in due course."
Famous for his modern Middle Eastern cuisine, chef and cookery book author Malouf was born in Australia to Lebanese parents and after serving his formal apprenticeship in Melbourne went on to work in France, Italy, Austria and Hong Kong. In 1991 he set up O'Connell's in Melbourne, and in 2001 joined Mo Mo as executive chef, where he remained for 10 years.
Owners Gael and Francesco Boglione took over the Petersham garden centre in 2004 and started a café in one of the old greenhouses, putting Australian chef Gyngell in charge, whose Mediterranean food gained the restaurant a Michelin star in 2011.
By Kerstin Kühn
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