CROWN Hotels & Restaurants has swooped to sign internationally acclaimed two Michelin star chef Martin Blunos in what is being hailed as a major coup for the Monmouthshire-based group.
Universally recognised as one of the UK’s leading chefs Blunos joins Crown Hotels & Restaurants which has the Michelin star Crown restaurant at Whitebrook and the three AA rosette Crown at Celtic Manor on its books.
Blunos, born and raised near Bath of Latvian parents and who has held two Michelin stars for more then fifteen years, has been appointed as Executive Chef with a special emphasis on expanding the restaurant business into new areas.
He will join Executive Chef James Sommerin, the Michelin star chef at The Crown at Whitebrook and Tim McDougall, Head Chef at Crown at Celtic Manor, to assist with growth at Crown Hotels & Restaurants.
Instantly recognisable with his distinctive walrus moustache father of three Blunos is a regular on TV and radio and travels the globe as a food expert appearing at exhibitions and shows.
He has been a guest chef on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen with James Martin, ITV Daily Cooks and BBC Great Food Live! along with a host of other prime viewing time programmes.
The larger than life chef, who has cooked for the Queen, said: “I have been keeping a close eye on developments at The Crown restaurants in Whitebrook and Celtic Manor for many months and naturally was both excited and delighted to be approached to join this exciting restaurants and hotels group.
“James Sommerin, at Whitebrook and Tim McDougall, at Celtic Manor, are both exceptionally talented chefs. I’m looking forward immensely to working closely with these guys and their excellent, dedicated and highly-motivated teams.”
Blunos, who recently appeared in the new Channel 4 series ‘IRON CHEF UK’, the ITV series Daily Cooks and Australia’s most popular show “Master Chef Australia, said: “ There are some enormously exciting things happening in the world of cooking in Wales and The Crown restaurants have consistently been at the vanguard of these developments over the years.
“It is my intention to ensure that these opportunities develop further over the short, medium and long terms. Watch this space-there are some exceptional times ahead for Crown restaurants.
David Hennigan, General Manager of The Crown restaurants at Whitebrook and Celtic Manor, said: “This is truly a wonderful signing for Crown Hotels and Restaurants. It’s marvellous for everyone concerned. We’re all thrilled and enthused in equal measures. Martin with his unrivalled experience is perfect to help us on our way to the next level.”
David Hennigan, UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2010, said: “Mark my words the Crown Group is facing an extremely exciting and exhilarating future in 2011 and beyond so Martin, with all his knowledge and expertise, could not have joined us at a better time.”
James Sommerin said: “I’m relishing this exciting opportunity to work alongside Martin. Martin’s wealth of experience will surely add a further dimension to our business and boost the appeal of Crown restaurants even wider to our customers.”