Chris Staines, head chef at the Michelin-starred Foliage restaurant at London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, has resigned, Caterersearch can reveal.
The news comes just a week after Caterersearch revealed that Heston Blumenthal, chef patron of the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, is in discussions to launch a restaurant at the five-star Knightsbridge hotel.
Staines' departure gives credence to Blumenthal taking over the space of Foliage. Renowned New York-based interior designer Adam Tihany, who created the interior for Foliage, has also been associated with the project.
A spokeswoman for Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park confirmed Staines' resignation and added he was leaving "to pursue a new opportunity".
"A replacement for Chris has been identified and an announcement will be made in due course," she said.
"We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Chris over the past seven years, during which time he has been instrumental in raising the profile of Foliage as one London's finest Michelin starred restaurants. We wish him every success with his new venture."
Staines, who declined to comment on his reasons for his departure, joined Foliage in 2002 from Marco Pierre White's Oak Room replacing the restaurant's previous head chef Hywel Jones.
He has retained the Michelin star Foliage first gained in 2002 and in 2007 the restaurant was identified as a rising two-star.
By Kerstin Kühn
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