Alan Murchison buys former John Burton Race restaurant the New Angel

by Kerstin Kühn, Friday 24th September 2010 12:01

Chef-restaurateur Alan Murchison has agreed to acquire John Burton Race's former restaurant, the Michelin-starred New Angel in Devon, Caterersearch can reveal.

Murchison's 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group, which also owns the Michelin-starred L'Ortolan in Shinfield, Berkshire, and La Bécasse in Ludlow, Shropshire, as well as Paris House in Woburn, Bedfordshire, will take over the iconic Dartmouth restaurant next month.

The chef plans to relaunch it as the Carved Angel next January, returning it to the original name it held when it was first operated by Joyce Molyneux in the 1970s and 1980s.

The 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group will acquire the site from current owner, travel entrepreneur Clive Jacobs, who bought the restaurant with rooms out of administration in 2008. The move comes just months after celebrity chef Burton Race announced his departure from his role of executive head chef at the New Angel to focus on consultancy projects and his TV career.

Jacobs told Caterersearch he was selling the restaurant to focus on his other business interests including the Travel Weekly Group and online classified service Free Ads.

"When I bought the restaurant out of receivership I did it to help John but he's gone now and it's just not possible for me to try to run the restaurant," he said.

"I'm delighted that Alan Murchison is taking over. I've known him for many years, he runs a very successful company and the restaurant will fit well into the group. The best deals are always the ones that are good for both parties."

Murchison added that he was "really excited" about the acquisition. "It's a natural progression for the group and to take over such an iconic establishment in such an amazing location was an opportunity too good to pass on," he told Caterersearch.

"By renaming it the Carved Angel we want to return it to its former glory. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the restaurant and we want to go back to it being a positive influence on the industry."

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 Jacobs, who previously backed Burton Race when he was at the former two-Michelin-starred L'Ortolan.

Murchison said he had not yet appointed a head chef to run the restaurant. It is unclear where current executive chef Nathan Thomas, who joined the New Angel from the two-Michelin-starred Ledbury in June, will move to.

John Burton Race to leave Michelin-starred New Angel restaurant >>

Chris Horridge joins 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group >>

Alan Murchison acquires Paris House >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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