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New Year, New Chef for Pensons

Lee Westcott will be stepping down from his role as Head Chef of Pensons at the end of the year.

Having opened Pensons with Peta Darnley in January, Lee has been one of the driving forces behind the project. He has headed up the kitchen since the launch and the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star in this year’s guide. Lee will be returning to London from January, the kitchen will be run by new head chef, Chris Simpson.

Chris joins the team at Pensons after having worked with Nathan Outlaw for seven years in Cornwall as Head Chef at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw which had two Michelin stars. He then moved on to Gidleigh Park as Executive Head Chef, and was part of the team that won a Michelin Star there.

Peta Darnley said, ‘We are very sad to see Lee go, but wish him all the best for the future. I’m personally so happy to have worked with him on this huge venture: turning a derelict, disused barn on our Netherwood Estate into a restaurant with a flourishing kitchen garden. Lee and I are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together along with the hard work of the brilliant team. It has been a real joy.

 We are very excited to welcoming Chris to the family, and are looking forward to building on the success of the last year.”

Lee Wescott said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved in this project right from the start; I have learnt a great deal from working so closely with the seasons and the produce here. I’m proud of what the team and I have achieved in this time and the recognition that we have received has been a true honour. I am, however, excited to get back to the city I fell in love with, and what the future holds. I know that Peta, Chris and the team will continue to have huge success and I wish them all the best for the next chapter at Pensons.”

Chris Simpson said, “I’m honoured and delighted to be joining Pensons, with its bountiful surroundings, excellent local suppliers and fantastic team. I’m such a fan of what Lee, Peta and the team have achieved, and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Chris will begin at Pensons from January 2020. Joining him will be new Restaurant General Manager, Jim Conway, who spent the last four years as Restaurant Manager at The Raby Hunt in Summerhouse, Darlington, leading the restaurant from 1 Michelin star to 2 Michelin stars in 2016.