Ricki Weston has been appointed Executive Chef of Whatley Manor, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, effective 10 January 2022, following the departure of Niall Keating at the end of December 2021.
He will now oversee the full food offering at the hotel, including The Dining Room, Grey’s Brasserie, room service, afternoon tea, and private/events dining. (A totally new menu for The Dining Room will be launched on 4 February when the hotel reopens after a short closure from 27 January-4 February.)
Announcing the promotion, General Manager Sue Williams stated: “We feel very lucky to be moving Into Whatley’s next culinary chapter with Ricki at the helm. He brings to the role a fresh focus on the finest British ingredients and some Interesting traditional cooking techniques, all of which perfectly complement our sustainability goals. I feel very excited to watch Ricki lead the team to deliver more exceptional eating experiences for our guests.”
Born and raised in Storrington, West Sussex, Ricki’s career kicked off in 2010 as a Commis Chef at White’s Bar & Kitchen (now closed) in nearby Steyning, progressing to Demi Chef de Partie. He then moved to Wabi, a contemporary Japanese restaurant in Horsham, as Chef de Partie (2011-12). Staying in Horsham, Ricki joined the South Lodge Hotel’s brasserie – The Camellia – as Chef de Partie (2012-14), before moving to the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Matt Gillan at The Pass (2014-15).
In late 2015, Ricki was appointed Chef de Partie, then Junior Sous Chef, at Michelin two-starred Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, where he spent three years, before joining Whatley Manor as Sous Chef in August 2018. He was promoted to Head Chef in October 2020.
“I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity to head up such a quality and committed team, and in such a fabulous kitchen, all in the beautiful setting of Whatley,” enthused Ricki. “The hotel has had a long history of being one of the best UK foodie destinations, so I have a lot to live up to, and I cannot wait to start developing my recipes and to evolving a whole new dining offering.”
Whatley Manor is a 23-bedroom, Grade II-listed luxury manor house in the Cotswolds, featuring two restaurants, expansive gardens, spa, cinema and private events spaces. The Dining Room has held two Michelin stars through most of the past two decades, and the hotel is proud to be members of Pride of Britain and NOW Force for Good Alliance, while also retaining its five red star AA status. Sustainability is at the heart of the hotel’s entire operation, with a distinct and active strategy on environmental responsibility. www.whatleymanor.com Instagram – @whatleymanor Twitter – @whatley_manor