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New venture for celebrity chef

Published:  27 May, 2009

Celebrity chef John Burton-Race has been appointed as group development chef, on a £500,000 project that will also see the creation of 50 new jobs.

The privately owned Kent Inns of Distinction has taken on board two new derelict sites in Ramsgate and Tonbridge in a risky climate where pubs and hotels are closing on a weekly basis.

Michelin star restauranteur Burton- Race who is also a successful TV personality will inject his own personal style to the menus as well as oversee the kitchens and chefs.

The new sites include Harvey's Fish Market & Oyster Bar in Ramsgate's Royal Harbour that closed two years ago and the 15th century Ivy House, Tonbridge which opened on May 12, after £150,000 refit.

Harvey's is the latest addition to the Kent Inns of Distinction portfolio, owned and operated by husband and wife team Richard and Sherry Martin, from Sandwich in Kent who formed the company in 2004, when it redeveloped the award winning Dog Inn at Wingham, near Canterbury.

Burton-Race, of the New Angel Michelin-starred restaurant in Dartmouth, has been appointed as head of group development, with responsibilities including training and menu development and chefs will be trained in the New Angel.

Richard Martin said, "Our business is all about food and despite the downturn and doom mongering in some corners of the press, our customers are still coming out to eat.

"Our new businesses are in fantastic locations and with John Burton-Race's involvement we will be able to introduce some really exciting new styles of food at all our restaurants."

In 2007 the couple purchased the Blazing Donkey in Ham, near Sandwich for £1.75 million and have claimed to have increased sales despite the current economic gloom.