Kenny Atkinson to part ways with Rockliffe Hall

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rockliffe hall Restaurant

Kenny Atkinson has parted ways with Rockliffe Hall where he has been in charge of its food operation for the last four years
Kenny Atkinson has parted ways with Rockliffe Hall where he has been in charge of its food operation for the last four years
Chef Kenny Atkinson has left County Durham hotel Rockliffe Hall as director of food to focus on a 'new challenge'. 

The chef, who joined the hotel when it opened in 2009, leaves following a change of focus for ​its flagship Orangery restaurant, which turned into an all-day dining area after a 200k renovation project in January. 

Rockliffe Hall's managing director Nick Holmes said the decision was mutual and was simply a reflection of the changing nature of the dining offer at the five star property. 

“This amicable decision comes as we revamp our restaurants, including a slightly more relaxed feel to the award-winning Orangery, recently re-launched with a more extensive a la carte menu," he said.

"Kenny has been a tremendous asset to the management team and has been instrumental in attracting and developing an outstanding team of chefs. However, all restaurants, including the Orangery, have always been managed by their own, very talented head chefs and this will not change."

Challenging, rewarding

Atkinson, who ran the Orangery as a tasting menu-only restaurant​ for a while alongside the Brasserie by Atkinson, is expected to remain aligned with Rockliffe Hall by hosting some special events and cookery demonstrations over the next year while pursuing 'a number of new opportunities'. 

He said: “It has been challenging and very rewarding establishing three, very different restaurants at Rockliffe Hall. I'm very proud of the team and what we have achieved within the past four years throughout the resort. Rockliffe Hall is a special place and I wish the team all the success for the future but it is now time for a new challenge.” 

The three restaurants Atkinson oversaw at Rockliffe - The Orangery, The Brasserie and The Clubhouse - will continue to be run by their head chefs with Dan Shotton in charge of the flagship restaurant The Orangery.  A spokesperson for the hotel said it had been working with local colleges to recruit new talent and would focus on developing more staff from within going forward. 

"Like many top restaurants around the UK, The Orangery has adapted a more relaxed approach to dining in recent months, now offering both a la carte and tasting menu options. However, the emphasis will always be on our superb local suppliers, seasonal ingredients and creative dining, all brought together by our experienced team chefs," added Holmes. 

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