Michelin-starred chef Kenny Atkinson has agreed to become head chef at The White Room, the Michelin-starred restaurant at County Durham's Seaham Hall hotel.
Atkinson, who won his first star this year at the Tean Restaurant in St Martin's on the Isle of Scilly, will join the five-star hotel on 1 August.
He is replacing former head chef Steve Smith, who left Seaham Hall to take over the kitchen at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire.
In an interview with The Journal newspaper, Newcastle-born Atkinson said: "I always said if I came back to the North-east it would be either with Seaham Hall or Terry Laybourne, and it has been a case of waiting for the chance to come up.
"The fact that has happened the year I have attained my first Michelin star is fantastic. It's a case of out with one Michelin-star chef and in with another."
Mike Beveridge, food and beverage manager at Seaham Hall, said Atkinson had been top of the list to replace Smith.
"He was definitely our first choice and we are delighted he is coming here. Obviously, the fact he won his Michelin star this year is a big plus point as we want to retain the White Room's Michelin star," he told The Journal.
"But the fact Kenny is from the North-East, knows the area and is a keen advocate of local food was also what we wanted."
By Daniel Thomas
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