Star chef backs out of new venture after row
THE latest in a string of ill-fated ventures by a celebrated Cornwall-based chef has failed before it even launched.
Kevin Viner was due to launch Viner at the Rose during a VIP dinner tomorrow evening at the Rose in Vale Country Manor hotel in Mithian, near St Agnes.
But he walked out a week ago following a heated exchange with the owner, James Evans, who took over the hotel in 2006.
Mr Viner had been hoping to use the new venture as a way of rebuilding his reputation following a long-running feud with his former landlord, Eric Randle, at Viners Restaurant and Bar at Summercourt.
Mr Randle has since taken possession of the site and launched Stiltskins Restaurant.
Mr Viner was previously involved in a plan to turn the paddle steamer moored off Lemon Quay in Truro into a restuarant which failed to materialise.
The owners are still looking for a tenant.
Mr Viner, Cornwall's first Michelin-starred chef and who was once named best chef in the UK, told the West Briton he walked out because of "professional differences" and could no longer work at the hotel.
Mr Evans said he was "furious and bitterly disappointed" at Mr Viner's decision to leave without giving any notice. The restaurant would now be rebranded as Rose in the Valley, dropping any connection to Mr Viner.
"Mr Viner came in with a list of demands. I wanted a master chef not someone to tell me how to run my hotel and restaurant.
"We have the same team of chefs working for us and we will be open for our VIP night tomorrow and Saturday which is fully booked. "The young chefs' team is headed by Anthony Theobald, from a multi-rosetted background including Celtic Manor, St Moritz and Rick Stein's."