Michael Wignall has left Devon’s Gidleigh Park after two years at the helm to set up his own venture. He has been replaced by former Restaurant Nathan Outlaw head chef Chris Simpson. Simpson delivers his first service when Gidleigh Park re-opens after its annual closure on 12 January.
Wignall joined Chagford’s famous Tudorbethan manor house in January 2016 from The Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel, taking over from Michael Caines who had departed to launch his own solo effort, Lympstone Manor in Exmouth.
Tempting Wignall away from his long-time home at the Latymer two year’s ago was a stroke of genius from Andrew Brownsword Hotels, who had a difficult task in trying to replace Caines who helped put the food at Gidleigh Park on the map. Wignall achieved two Michelin stars within nine months of his tenure at Gidleigh Park, and the restaurant was listed at number 11 on the Harden’s 100 ranking of the best places to eat in the UK, published in December. Wignall has not confirmed when or where he will open his new venture.