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Leigh to leave Kensington Place after nearly 20 years

Published:  23 July, 2008

Rowley Leigh is to leave Kensington Place and is looking at a handful of new projects to work on as head chef. Speaking to Harpers, Leigh said that he was sad in some ways, but I've had a good innings. Kensington Place was becoming like a warm bath for me and I needed something new.'

Leigh will leave at the end of December, but will remain a shareholder with Image Restaurants, owners of Kensington Place, as well as Circus in Soho, The Avenue in St James' and Launceston Place in Hammersmith. The new head chef will be 35-year-old Sam Mahoney, who, like Leigh, trained at the Roux brothers' Le Gavroche restaurant.

Commenting on the potential sale of the Image company, with Richard Caring, the new owner of The Ivy, a prime candidate to purchase it, Leigh said: I don't know every conversation that Chris [Bodker, the chief executive] has. We have a good board of wealthy people who don't seem to be in a hurry to sell.'

The other candidate for a purchase is Marlon Abela, the Lebanese owner of The Greenhouse, but Abela is in Florida for a number of weeks due to family reasons.