Surrey hotel and resort Foxhills has appointed Alan O'Kane as executive chef, in its bid to establish itself at the ‘Gleneagles of the South'.
O'Kane joins the four-AA-star, 70-bedroom hotel, near Ottershaw, from Wynard Hall in County Durham, where as executive chef he oversaw the restaurant improve from one to three AA rosettes over 18 months.
He began his career as a commis chef under Anton Edelmann at London's Savoy hotel, and in the intervening years has worked at the General Tarleton, near Harrogate; Fisherman's Lodge in Jesmond Dene and the Pheasant Inn, near Bassenthwaite, Cumbria; as well as running his own hotel and restaurant, the Angel at Corbridge, Northumberland.
O'Kane's appointment has come shortly after the completion of an investment of more than £1m by owner Marc Hayton in upgrading Foxhills. The kitchen for the main Manor restaurant has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment and £90,000 has been spent on redesigning the casual dining option, Nineteen Brasserie.
In his new role, O'Kane will oversee further improvements to the hotel's three restaurants and banqueting facilities. He also intends to increase the quality and local provenance of the food and create a herb garden, as well as introduce lighter and healthier options for families. Sous chefs are to be introduced to run Nineteen and the family diner Summerhouse.
O'Kane joins Jason Adams who was appointed last year as general manager of Foxhills from the Arden in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Facilities within the 400-acre resort include three golf courses, 11 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, spa and health club, gym, and children's clubhouse.