News in brief

07 April 2006
News in brief

Are you a wiz with the fizz?
Champagne experts are being invited to represent the UK in the second Champagne Ambassadors Awards later this year. The event, which runs from 16 to 20 October at Epernay in Champagne, France, is open to anyone involved in Champagne education and training. Entries must be in by 10 July. Three finalists will compete to be the UK representative on 20 September at London's Dorchester hotel. The winner will battle it out against eight other European finalists for the title of European Champagne Ambassador. For more information see

Rupert Willcocks dies
A Wiltshire chef renowned for his kindness and patience in supporting aspiring young chefs has died just four days short of his 46th birthday. Rupert Willcocks learnt his trade at Bristol's Western Technical College before honing his skills at the Carlton hotel in Cannes. Willcocks then worked throughout Wiltshire, at the Silver Plough at Pitton, Wiltons pub-restaurant in Wilton, the LXIX in Salisbury and the Haunch of Venison in Salisbury, where he was a partner-manager. More than 1,000 people attended Willcocks's funeral in Salisbury Cathedral. He leaves behind his wife, Steve, and his daughter, Frankie.

Torre takes over at Greyhound
Tom Martinovic, head chef at the Greyhound in Battersea, London, is leaving to go travelling and will be replaced by Marco Torre. Torre was formerly head chef at Teca in London's Mayfair and more recently worked at Locanda Locatelli in Marylebone. A spokeswoman for the Greyhound's Australian owner, Mark van der Goot, said menus would continue to be modern European with an emphasis on Italy, but would be "gutsier" than before.

Leon the third
The founders of healthy fast-food restaurant brand Leon plan to open a third London branch in May. The 2,500sq ft venue is on the site of a former Thai restaurant in Brompton Road, near Harrods. Davis Coffer Lyons acted for the private landlord.

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