Chef Michael Riemenschneider has taken over a Thwaites-owned pub in Cheshire and relaunched it as an eponymous restaurant.
Riemenschneider's at the Highwayman in Rainow, near Macclesfield, which opened its doors this week, is the first solo venture from the Swiss chef.
Last year, Riemenschneider was forced to close the doors of the former Michelin-starred Abbey in Penzance, Cornwall, and Juniper in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, after they ran into financial difficulties. He then joined boutique hotel group Contessa Hotels as executive chef in the autumn but left the company in December after a falling-out with its owner.
However, Riemenschneider has now returned to the industry with the launch of his own restaurant, which is housed in a 16th-century pub. "This time it's just me - no business partners," he said. "I am financing this by myself and have taken on a premium lease with the first six months free."
The 40-seat Riemenschneider's at the Highwayman will serve a modern British menu focused on local produce, with all ingredients sourced within a 10-mile radius.
Riemenschneider, whose kitchen brigade currently comprises just one other chef, said that while the menu would showcase his modern cooking style it would be simplified to suit the rural market. "This restaurant is about good food at affordable prices, with the average spend around £30 for three courses à la carte," he said.
"I'm not chasing accolades here, it's about getting the support from the locals and getting regular customers through the door."
By Kerstin Kühn
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