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Michelin Star chef James Close opens new restaurant at Rockliffe Hall following closure of Raby Hunt

The best of land and sea is the fresh offering from the former chef of a two Michelin Star restaurant which closed its doors earlier this year.

James Close and his parents opened Raby Hunt, in Summerhouse, near Darlington, in 2009. It was awarded a second Michelin star in 2016, becoming the only eatery in the region to boast the title and one of only 20 in the UK. But last year it was announced that the resuturant would be closing on January 27, 2024, with Chef Patron James announcing that he will move on to a new challenge as Culinary director at Rockliffe Hall hotel, in County Durham.

And now he has announced that he is due to open new summer residency, TERRA, at the 5-star hotel, as well as a new restaurant in 2025 that will take diners on a unique journey inspired by global gastronomy.

  • Read more: The North East’s two Michelin star restaurant Raby Hunt to close this month after 15 years
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  • Opening on June 13, TERRA promises to source the best ingredients from across the UK and beyond to create dishes rooted in James’ experience. The menu will be split into sections relating to size, offering guests the freedom to create their own dining story, which they can repeat or reinvent with each visit.

    Guests will find plates including, Carabineros simply grilled over charcoal with garlic, wine, chilli, parsley enriched by the juice from the heads and served with a fresh-baked baguette, or a signature sushi selection combining Kabayaki eel, foie gras, purple shiso and wasabi. There will also be dishes for two such as James’ take on Bouillabaisse with lobster, scallops and seabass, or 65 day aged sirloin cooked on the bone over charcoal with confit red peppers.

    James joined Rockliffe Hall in February 2024 with the aim to identify opportunities to strengthen the dining experiences at the venue. James, who has a personal passion for wine, wants the residency to offer a more relaxed approach in this area too. Contemporary wines from around the world as well as some established old-world favourites will be available by the glass, allowing guests to pick and enjoy different glasses as they dine.

    A new wine table will take a central position in the restaurant, chilling and displaying bottles to inspire guests’ choice.

    The residency will find its home in a first-floor space at the hotel, which has a balcony for drinks and views over the 375-acre estate and 18-hole golf course. The bright and airy 35 cover restaurant combines a palette of bright blues and warm neutral tones, with simple tableware, and newly commissioned local art, to make the space feel fresh and welcoming.

    James said: “At TERRA, we are cooking food that focuses on great ingredients and great flavours, both from near and far. It’s a relaxed experience where guests can order a selection of plates from different sections of the menu, to share or not, and enjoy with a few glasses of interesting wine.”

    Shauna Robb, General Manager, Rockliffe Hall added: “We are excited to welcome TERRA to the hotel to offer guests and locals a new relaxed dining experience that brings together James’ skills and love for high quality ingredients. It also marks the first phase in developing the offering at Rockliffe Hall as part of our journey to become a world-class luxury destination.”

    Bookings for TERRA can be made for Wednesday – Saturday from 6.30pm – 8.30pm via this link.

    View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/michelin-star-chef-james-close-29181298

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