Hrishikesh Desai to head up Farlam Hall as chef-patron

01 February 2023 by
Hrishikesh Desai to head up Farlam Hall as chef-patron

Hrishikesh Desai has revealed exclusively to The Caterer that he has been appointed chef-patron at Farlam Hall, a Relais & Châteaux and Pride of Britain hotels member, in Brampton, Cumbria.

It fulfils a long-held ambition for the chef, who has spoken of his desire to run a luxury country hotel.

He told The Caterer "As chef patron of Farlam Hall, my mantra will be incredible hospitality, great spirits and wines, food with a touch of class and an exciting twist that will make our guests smile. I'm very excited to get into the property, work with the current team and start to make some dreams come true."

Desai announced his departure from the Gilpin Hotel and Lake House in Windermere, where he oversaw three restaurants, at the end of last year. During his time at the hotel, he and his team achieved two-AA-rosettes for Gilpin Spice, four-AA-rosettes for HRiSHi and secured a Michelin Star within 16 months, which he described as an "incredible moment".

Desai added: "The timing was right for me to move on from the Gilpin, having achieved as much as I could there.

"I'll be at Farlam Hall from the 1 April and will spend some quality time understanding the clientele and business model. I would like to raise its profile in the local area and beyond.

"We have our own kitchen gardens, poly-tunnels and honeybees on site, providing us with an abundance of produce and we'll be using these ingredients to their full potential."

A dish of Jerusalem artichoke velouté, paired with honey from the garden, served with a mushroom duxelles spiced cumin raviolo will appear on Desai's new restaurant menu.

Karen Baybutt, previously managing director of the Gilpin, is to join Desai at Farlam Hall as finance director.

"Hrishikesh and I have moved to Farlam Hall as a team and will take the next step together," said Baybutt.

"We will work in partnership to make the beautiful Farlam Hall known as a go to destination in the north-west alongside the existing team and on behalf of the owners, Joseph [Walter] and Kathy [Mares], whose ethos is to deliver a beautifully uncomplicated experience."

Desai, who won the Roux Scholarship in 2009 and National Chef of the Year in 2010, made his second appearance at Northcote's Obsession food festival on 1 February where he announced his appointment to 100+ guests.

He added: "Obsession is the perfect place to announce this news. Lisa [Goodwin-Allen] and Craig [Bancroft] have always been very supportive of my career aspirations and it's an honour to be able to go public with the news with them both."

Farlam Hall was purchased by Walter and Mares in 2019 and underwent a complete refurbishment of its 12 rooms and six cottages during lockdown.

The manor at Farlam has been written about as far back as 1428 but one of the first mentions of a "manorial house" in the area was in 1579.

Hrishikesh Desai and Karen Baybutt
Hrishikesh Desai and Karen Baybutt

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