Chef Kevin Viner, who formerly ran the Michelin-starred Pennypots restaurant in Falmouth, Cornwall, has become executive chef at the Greenbank hotel in the town.
Viner's appointment came a week after the Greenbank was bought from receivers KPMG by a group of partners headed by local hotelier Aaron Pascoe.
Viner was about to leave Cornwall after 10 years and said that the job offer from the Greenbank had persuaded him to stay.
He said: "The offer, combined with the overwhelming and unexpected public outcry which arose when we intimated our plans to leave Cornwall, made us decide to stay."
Viner was the AA's Chefs' Chef of the Year in 1999.
The Greenbank's past guests have included Florence Nightingale and the author of Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame.