Ross Melling has been appointed as executive chef at the Michael Caines restaurant in the Abode hotel in Devon, Exeter.
Melling, who joins the eatery from three Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry in California where he was chef de partie, previously spent three years under Caines at the two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park hotel and restaurant in Chagford, Devon.
While there he won the South West Young Chef of the Year award in 2000 and in 1996 was named as the De Vere Hotels Trainee of the Year.
Melling said: "Caines has been a great teacher and he inspired me to continue to develop my skills and knowledge. I look forward to bringing the knowledge that I gained at The French Laundry to Michael Caines at Abode Exeter."
The Abode boutique hotel chain is owned by hotelier Andrew Brownsword in partnership with Caines and also includes properties in Glasgow and Canterbury.
Abode hotels in Manchester and Chester will launch later this year and in 2008, respectively.
Separately, Gidleigh Park hotel and restaurant where Caines made his name has recently re-opened following an 11-month refurbishment.
Owned by Brownsword and his wife Christina, the 24-bedroom property features a classic country house setting with design influences from the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th Century and now includes Wi-Fi, ISDN and high-definition flat-screen televisions throughout.
By Kerstin Kühn
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