– Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds, is delighted to announce the appointment of Martin Burge as Culinary Director.  In this new role, which he started on 2 May, Martin will be responsible for the future development and innovation of the estate’s culinary offerings.

In working with the Farncombe team, Martin will help drive the foodie experiences at the estate’s three hotels and five dining establishments; Foxhill Manor – an eight-bedroom private house hotel; Dormy House Hotel & Spa and The Fish, a recently transformed collection of quirky houses and five Shepherd Huts in the heart of the 400-acre privately owned estate.   In addition, the aim is to strengthen the hotel’s position on the global stage and look at ways the estate can enhance the culinary experience for guests.

Martin brings 27 years of experience to the new position.  He joins from Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa in Wiltshire where he spent nearly 14 years as Executive Chef overseeing the hotel’s restaurants and all menus.  During his time at Whatley Manor, Martin achieved numerous accolades, attaining his first Michelin star in January 2005.  In September 2008, the AA awarded The Dining Room four AA rosettes and in January 2009 Michelin awarded Martin a second star, which he retained for nine consecutive years and was also awarded 8 out of 10 by The Good Food Guide.

British born, Martin’s love of food started from an early age.  He grew up in the South West of England with ingredients such wild rabbit, pheasant and duck at the core of his mother’s cuisine and that of his grandfather’s, who was an Army chef.  This prepared him for his career which started at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath, working with Michael Croft.  He subsequently moved with Michael to the Mirabelle in London before joining Pied à Terre under the watchful eye of Richard Neat and proprietor David Moore. The opportunity then arose to work in Raymond Blanc’s kitchen at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire.  Following this Martin worked for John Burton Race at the Michelin two-starred restaurant L’Ortolan in Berkshire and then followed him to The Landmark Hotel in London before moving to set up the restaurants at Whatley Manor.  A keen supporter of the industry and regular at food events, notable achievements include the Relais & Châteaux Grands Chef recognition, a participant in Raymond Blanc’s Dîner des Protégés and appearing as a mentor and judge in the semi-finalist heats of MasterChef The Professionals.  He has also, on many occasions, provided a chef critique in the MasterChef final dinner.

Andrew Grahame, CEO, Farncombe Estate commented: “I am delighted to welcome Martin to the team.  The Farncombe Estate is fiercely proud of its achievements over the last few years, creating and developing three individual and hugely successful hotels and five high quality dining establishments.  We have always believed in keeping things fresh and as a hospitality company continually strive to ensure we remain relevant and at the top of our game.  I believe that with the knowledge and enthusiasm Martin will bring to this new role, we will further establish our own foodie identity and our enviable reputation will continue to grow.  I am excited about the future and about this, the next stage of the Farncombe story.”

Martin Burge adds “I am thrilled to be part of such an exceptional team.  In Farncombe I believe I have found a company that is the perfect match to my values and aspirations. It is hugely exciting to be part of the next chapter and together with the team see the estate reach its full culinary potential.”

Farncombe Estate, Broadway, The Cotswolds, WR12 7LJ T

Foxhill Manorwww.foxhillmanor.com I 01386 852711

Dormy Housewww.dormyhouse.co.uk I 01386 852711

The Fishwww.thefishhotel.co.uk I 01386 858000