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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.
In January 2016, I cooked my final service at Gidleigh Park, the country house hotel on Dartmoor where I spent 21 years. I will always have a special fondness for Gidleigh Park: it was there that I made my name and my reputation based on my 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. We achieved just about everything we could, winning countless awards and accolades along the way, including two Michelin stars, five rosettes from the AA, and the number one restaurant rating in the UK in The Sunday Times/Hardens Guide to the Top 100 Restaurants.
I'm from Exeter and started my career at Exeter Catering College before going on to work at The Grosvenor House Hotel. From there, 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. I am proud now to be able to help develop the next generation of hospitality leaders through my own Michael Caines Academy at Exeter College.
These are exciting times! I am in the process of restoring and developing a beautiful Georgian listed country house overlooking the beautiful Exe estuary which will be my professional home for the forseeable future. Here I will be able to express myself most fully, bringing my two-star Michelin cuisine (with the aim of gaining the elusive third star) and also my vision of modern country house hospitality for the 21st century. The property is stunning and so is our vision! I invite you to follow our project through the pages of this web site as it evolves in the coming months.
Meanwhile, other ventures are equally exciting. The Coach House by Michael Caines in North Devon is already winning awards and praise in the national press. Pearls by Michael Caines opened in Abu Dhabi in 2015, my first restaurant outside of the UK. Palé Hall in Wales will open in the summer of 2016. And I continue to enjoy my involvement with the Williams F1 team.
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