UK: Chris O’Callaghan has been named as head chef of The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa in Bolton Abbey, effective September.
O’Callaghan will head up the Burlington Restaurant and The Brasserie, alongside various pop-up venues such as the Laurent-Perrier Champagne and Seafood Terrace.
He gained experience at Gravetye Manor, L’Ortolan and Paris House, and worked as head chef at Linthwaite House Hotel, The Castle Dairy and Goldsborough Hall.
Speaking about his appointment, O’Callaghan said: “I am made up to be joining the team at The Devonshire Arms, overseeing the creation and delivery of menus across a varied collection of outlets. Here I hope to grow a team that will develop with me over the coming years, working with our suppliers and kitchen gardener to improve the brigades’ understanding of the produce around us in Yorkshire and further afield, if needs be, as we constantly seek to improve. I want to create a safe and happy working environment where there the team and guest experience is equally important. For me, I want the team, front of house and back of house, to be proud of what we do here as a collective.
“I have been watching the Devonshire Group with interest for some time now and have noted their ongoing commitment to improving the typical work/life balance of the kitchen teams, their charity raising team events with Hospitality Aid, and their ethos to nurture those just starting out in their hospitality careers. This is an area that really lights me up, I feel passionate about supporting and developing that upcoming talent – the creativity of many of the youngsters coming through the local catering colleges just blows me away and I feel it’s key to keep this raw talent within our industry, rather than it being allowed to divert elsewhere.”
James O’Donnell, head of operations for Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants in Yorkshire, said: “In appointing Chris as head chef, it’s a given that we’ve selected an accomplished professional, capable of creating amazing plates of food and showcase our local ‘pantry’ as it were… and we also sought an individual who will inspire, motivate and develop the teams to be the best that they can be. We have other developments in the pipeline, where this talent will really come into its own.
“Having gotten to know Chris better recently, I feel very comfortable that along with Chara Forrest our resident manager, the future of the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey is in very safe hands. Our people, our produce, our pride and our perseverance are our cornerstones here at The Devonshire Arms, and we are more committed than ever to promote these aspects in a holistic way, not just at Bolton Abbey, but across the whole Devonshire Group.
“We are embarking upon a progressive period of development and Chris will play a pivotal role in this. We extend him a warm welcome into the Devonshire Group family and wish him every happiness and success in this next step of his career.”
The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group recently announced the launch of its Hospitality Academy this autumn – an 18-month training programme that leads to a Level 2 Apprenticeship qualification and promotion within the business.