The Clock House in Ripley has appointed Paul Nicholson as head chef. He has moved from the same role at the Yorke Arms in Nidderdale, Yorkshire.
Nicholson has joined the Michelin-starred Surrey restaurant following the departure of previous head chef Fred Clapperton.
Nicholson said: “The Clock House already has an excellent reputation; the team both in the kitchen and restaurant have created a great dining experience with a relaxed, yet highly professional, environment.
“I look forward to bringing its guests new dishes and creating a more inclusive, continuously evolving menu.”
Owner Serina Drake added: “We considered a number of other highly skilled and suitable chefs for the position.
“But as well as his obvious culinary talent, Paul demonstrated a clear desire to work closely with me, our manager Iain McArthur and the rest of the team in developing some very exciting plans we are already working on for the restaurant.”
Clapperton had been in charge at the Clock House for four years and is off to head up the Seren Collection’s Coast restaurant in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire,
He joined the Michelin-starred Drake’s in 2012 as a demi chef de partie and worked his way up to sous chef under Steve Drake in 2013.
Clapperton was promoted to head chef when the restaurant was renamed the Clock House in 2016, which is when Drake left following a divorce settlement with his wife Serina. Clapperton regained the restaurant’s Michelin star one year later.
Drake, meanwhile, opened Dorking restaurant Sorrel in 2018 and quickly earned a Michelin star.