John Burton Race is leaving the Michelin-starred New Angel restaurant in Devon, Caterersearch has learnt.
The celebrity chef, who first opened the Dartmouth restaurant in 2004, is departing from his role of executive head chef to focus on consultancy projects and his TV career. He will leave the restaurant on 5 June.
Former Ledbury sous chef Nathan Thomas has been appointed as his replacement and will join the New Angel at the beginning of June.
The New Angel was famously closed by Burton Race’s ex-wife Kim while he was appearing on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in November 2007. It later collapsed into administration and was bought by travel entrepreneur Clive Jacobs, who previously backed Burton Race when he was at the former two-Michelin-starred L’Ortolan in Berkshire.
Burton Race told Caterersearch that he had been offered “more and more consultancy jobs” which coupled with his TV work were increasingly dragging him away from the restaurant.
“I had to make a decision because I like to do things properly and I can’t do both,” he said. “The TV and consultancy work is far more lucrative and having been at the New Angel for more than six years it was time for a change.
“At this stage of my career I have a lot to offer and consultancy is where I want to position myself for the immediate future. However, this isn’t to say that I won’t be involved in restaurants again in the future.”
Jacobs said that Burton Race’s departure from the New Angel presented an opportunity for a new start for the restaurant.
“John has been at the New Angel for a while and has now decided that he wants to focus on his television career and look at new opportunities,” he told Caterersearch.
“The New Angel is one of the best restaurants in Devon with a long history and it is set in a beautiful location. In Nathan we have found a modern, innovative chef with a Michelin background, who will bring some new blood to this iconic restaurant.”
Thomas helped launch the now two-Michelin-starred Ledbury in 2005 and worked alongside chef-patron Brett Graham for five years. His previous roles included positions at the multi-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and The Square.
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