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"Good food served with friendly style is for everyone, I firmly believe, and this is what we aim to offer "
Cooking is my passion. I love it and I can never see not being in the kitchens. My interest in food began when I was a child - growing up in a large family (one of 6 children). Meal times were spent together as a family around the table enjoying fruit and vegetables grown by dad turned into wonderful simple meals by my mum, with a little help from me. It was a last minute decision to train as a chef and I have never looked back.
It is hard to believe, but 2014 marks 20 years that I have been at Gidleigh Park. I have made my name and my reputation on a signature style of cuisine that is at once modern, based on the finest local and regional produce and ingredients, yet which is also rooted in classic cooking techniques and traditions. Alongside this, we stand for professional and friendly service of the highest order. Over the past two decades, the team at Gidleigh Park has achieved so much and our hard work has been recognised with many accolades, most notably two stars from Michelin and five rosettes from the AA. We have won countless awards and accolades and in 2014 Gidleigh Park was rated the number one restaurant in the UK in The Sunday Times/Hardens Guide Top 100 British Restaurants.
While Gidleigh Park provides the ultimate Michael Caines dining, I have long been proud to proclaim that we are inclusive not exclusive. Over many years and at many venues, we have proved this through the popularity of our dining concepts at all levels. Today there are Michael Caines Restaurants in ABode hotels Exeter, Chester and Manchester, as well as our informal Café Bar & Grills and Taverns, also in those venues. I'm delighted to be in North Devon at The Coach House by Michael Caines at the stunningly beautiful Kentisbury Grange. Another new venture is The Townhouse, Oswestry where we'll be serving more casual food in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Good food served with friendly style is for everyone, I firmly believe, and this is what we have always aimed to offer.
These days I consider my relationship with my chefs to be deep and meaningful. We are more than just professional colleagues: we share friendships based on mutual respect and shared values. In all the Michael Caines Restaurants you will see that about half of the dishes bear the MC logo - indicating that they are my own signature dishes. This allows my chefs to have the freedom and the platform to develop their own creative and personal dishes. That is what makes dining in a Michael Caines Restaurant such a unique and exciting experience.
I started my career at Exeter Catering College, where I now have my own Michael Caines Academy, before going on to work at The Grosvenor House Hotel. I had the opportunity to work for Raymond Blanc and the late Bernard Loiseau, two of my culinary heroes. It was Raymond who put me forward for the role at Gidleigh Park.
It feels like only yesterday that I took up the helm but time flies when you are enjoying yourself. While my commitment to Gidleigh Park remains absolute, I am also now at the stage of my career when I am looking to pursue new projects in the future. These are exciting times! For those of you who have been a part of my journey, I thank you for your support. For those who are new to Michael Caines, I look forward to seeing and meeting you soon.
Michael Caines MBE