The editor of the AA's Restaurant Guide 2004 has resigned after just one year in the job.
Neil Haidar, who became editor following Simon Wright's acrimonious departure last year, leaves next week.
He is moving to France to work and spend more time with his French-born fianc‚e. Haidar is rumoured to be joining Michelin in France as an inspector, but he would confirm only that he was "going to work in a similar line of business".
Haidar, who worked as an AA restaurant inspector for a year before taking the editor's job, said his decision to leave had nothing to do with the internal wranglings that resulted in Wright's departure.
Wright resigned in July last year after a row over the awarding of five rosettes to London restaurant Pétrus. AA managing director Roger Wood overruled the guide's professional inspectors and refused to allow the restaurant to be upgraded from four rosettes. The decision was later reversed, although Wright wasn't offered his job back.
Haidar said: "I'd put a few irons in the fire, with a view to moving to France in the next two to three years, but I didn't expect anything to happen so quickly.
"If things had taken longer, I'd have been happy to carry on editing the guide. After all, I've been commuting to Paris and Burgundy twice a month for the past five years. I thoroughly enjoyed my year as an inspector and my time editing the book. I'm very excited about the book that's about to come out."
The AA is recruiting a replacement editor.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 4 - 10 September 2003