Following an eight-year association with London's Cumberland hotel, Gary Rhodes's name will be removed from its two restaurants by the end of tomorrow.
Tim Cordon, general manager of the four-star, 1,019-bedroom hotel, which is operated by Guoman Hotels, said that the partnership with Rhodes, who has overseen the running of the two outlets through an agreement with Restaurant Associates, a division of the Compass Group, was coming to a natural end.
"We have had a great relationship, but it is now time to take over the running of the restaurants ourselves," he explained. "We shall be retaining the staff, both front and back of house, and in due course we will reveal some very exciting plans for both restaurants."
A spokesperson from Compass Group told Caterer and Hotelkeeper: "After a very successful eight years together, Restaurant Associates and The Cumberland hotel have taken the decision to cease their partnership as of 28 September 2012. This is a mutual decision which allows both companies to focus on their primary areas of expertise.
"Restaurant Associates is very pleased to be able to continue its relationship with Gary Rhodes at the coveted Michelin starred restaurant Rhodes 24 and has recently extended the contract with Gary at this site."
Rhodes W1, the fine-dining restaurant which won a Michelin star three years ago, will be renamed W1 Restaurant at the Cumberland, while Rhodes W1 Brasserie will be rebranded the Brasserie at the Cumberland.
Paul Welburn, head chef of the fine-dining outlet, will remain in place, as will Darryl Wilde, head chef of the brasserie.
As well as Rhodes' involvement with Rhodes 24, the restaurant located in Tower 24 in the City of London, he is currently overseeing the opening of a new waterfront restaurant in Plymouth, Devon.
Rhodes @ The Dome is set to open in November, following the conversion of a redundant visitor attraction into a 130-seat restaurant, 50-seat bar and 200-capacity events suite.
Liam Rutherford, previously at Rhodes W1, has been appointed head chef at Rhodes @ The Dome, while David Pover is joining the restaurant as general manager from the St Ives Harbour hotel in St Ives, Cornwall.
Rhodes is also involved in the Calabash restaurant in Grenada and three outlets in Dubai - Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Meridien and Rhodes Mezzanine and Rhodes in Residence at the Grosvenor House hotel. He will open a fifth overseas restaurant - Rhodes 44 - at the St Regis Abu Dhabi in early 2013.
Rhodes told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that he was now increasingly spending time overseeing his burgeoning restaurant empire in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “I’ve probably spent more time here in the past year than I have in England,” he said, speaking from Dubai. “I love the 100% positive approach that everyone here has towards creating a better business. It is a very inspirational place to be and, being away from all the office distractions back in London, I’m cooking much more than I have for years - and loving it.”
Moving to the UAE permanently is something that Rhodes is considering, but he is yet to make a definite decision.
By Janet Harmer
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