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Richard Neat leaves Marrakech and heads for Costa Rica

20 October 2006

Troubled chef Richard Neat has left his Moroccan restaurant and wife Sophie for a new life in Costa Rica, Caterer has learned.

The former-Michelin-starred chef had been running the Casa Lalla restaurant with rooms in Marrakech for two years, but it has now emerged that he left five months ago. Neat is thought to be planning to start up a restaurant in Costa Rica with a new partner.

Casa Lalla, a traditional Moroccan riad (a restaurant with rooms), is now being run by its original owners, Annabel and Pierre-Olivier Chapal.

Pierre-Olivier, a trained French chef who already has three properties in Grenoble, including Le Moliere, paid tribute to Neat. "He left five months ago, but he's a really good man, and a really good cook and I think this is a
good thing for him," he told Caterer.

Neat shot to fame working at London's Pied à Terre restaurant before leaving to move to India. He later opened an eponymous restaurant in Cannes, which closed after three years, and one at London's Oxo Tower, which went into administration after less than a year.

By Emily Manson

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