Widely travelled chef joins expanding team at Hallgarth Manor Hotel

Award-winning chef Thomas Knott has been appointed as Consulting and Executive Chef at the refurbished Hallgarth Manor just outside Durham, as part of an ambitious expansion programme.

Originally from Prudhoe in Northumberland, Thomas graduated from the local high school and has been a hospitality professional ever since. His career to date has included key appointments in locations as diverse as Morzine in the French Alps as well as key appointments in the North of England.

He has experience in budgeting, hospitality management, food demonstrations, food safety and menu development.

Thomas is a winner of the CCS Cannonball Run 2017 as well as an NEHA excellence award-winner. His previous appointments include Executive Head Chef at Beamish Hall Hotel, Head Chef at The George hotel Chollerford, Head Chef at Langley Castle Hotel, Chef at Millennium  Copthorne Hotels and Chef at the Hilton Hotel group.

Thomas takes over all the menus at Hallgarth Manor Hotel following a £2m refurbishment which included extensive modernisation of the kitchen and dining facilities as well as stylish new Bridal suite converted from a former meeting room; a new Mirror Ball function room and a stylish new Orangery.

The work followed the purchase of the hotel by Shepherd Cox, who have a small number of high quality hotels across the North of England.

“I am looking to develop company group chefs to work in all Shepherd Cox hotels on a supply and demand basis – helping to maintain high standards and share the latest ideas across the group as well as run the hotel restaurant.”

Seating up to 50 people, the restaurant is known for high quality food and service, using the finest local produce with seasonal specials along the way. The same menu is served in both The Tavern and the Restaurant.

Thomas bases his menus around seasonal availability and endeavours to source his products locally.

“We believe in making the very best of local produce, sourcing our ingredients as responsibly as possible. We add seasonal flavours to all our dishes and continue to develop new menus ideas.”

He went on: “This is a fantastic opportunity for myself and the team we are looking forward to the next challenges as we push forward to achieve an AA rosette.

“It’s an exciting time for the hotel and staff.  We believe we have a unique offering and a great location. Our brief was to focus in on customers’ needs and go all out to deliver on this. This focus on the customer helps us stand apart from the local competition.

“The refurbishment and re-launch has already resulted in a significant uptake in business and we have had to employ more staff of all specialisms to cope with demand.”

Thomas’ long term ambition is to earn more awards for the hotel and the group.

Issued on behalf of Hallgarth Manor Hotel by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell or Simon Harding (01275) 394400.