Top chef leaves Re­sorts World af­ter ‘ dif­fer­ences’

Solihull News - - JULIAN KNIGHT - SANJEETA BAINS Staff Re­porter

A Miche­lin- starred chef is to leave Re­sorts World af­ter ‘ cre­ative dif­fer­ences’.

Renowned Mid­land chef Andy Wa­ters has run his epony­mous restau­rant at the en­ter­tain­ment venue near the NEC since it opened in 2015.

Mr Wa­ters had most re­cently been work­ing with Re­sorts World to pre­pare for the open­ing of a new rooftop bar and restau­rant to re­place the for­mer Sky Bar. Sky By Wa­ters is due to open on Jan­uary 10.

Aaron Darn­ley, 29, who cur­rently leads the kitchen team at Wa­ters Res­tau­rants, will be­come head chef at the new venue.

A Re­sorts World spokes­woman said: “In re­cent weeks, cre­ative dif­fer­ences have emerged be­tween Andy and the Re­sorts World man­age­ment which has re­sulted in chef Wa­ters leav­ing the busi­ness.

“The name of the new venue is un­der re­view at the mo­ment. No de­ci­sion has been made yet.”

Mr Wa­ters left his suc­cess­ful restau­rant Wa­ters on the Square, in Chad Square, Edg­bas­ton, af­ter be­ing in­vited to open a venue at Re­sorts World by own­ers the Gent­ing Group.

The chef who trained at Hale­sowen Food Col­lege, has worked with French food icon Paul Bo­cuse, Jean Christophe Novelli and An­dreas An­tona from Simp­sons restau­rant. In 2002 he won a Miche­lin star at Ed­munds in Hen­ley in Ar­den. The restau­rant moved to Brind­ley­place in Birm­ing­ham in 2008.

Ian Ben­nett, op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor of Re­sorts World, said: “I want to pay trib­ute to Andy and his wife Bev­er­ley. For sev­eral decades Andy has been a piv­otal com­po­nent of the re­gion’s restau­rant scene.

“He has built up a rep­u­ta­tion for cre­at­ing food that is mem­o­rable and in­no­va­tive. For the past three years Andy has cre­ated a restau­rant here at Re­sorts World that has played a ma­jor part in putting Re­sorts World on the culi­nary map.

“We are very grate­ful to Andy and Bev­er­ley for what they have achieved here and their con­tri­bu­tion to our suc­cess. We wish Andy and Bev­er­ley ev­ery good wish for their fu­ture.”

The new restau­rant will cater for dou­ble the num­ber of cov­ers com­pared with the ex­ist­ing Wa­ters restau­rant and will have a pri­vate din­ing area, cock­tail bar and ‘ se­cret gar­den’.

Gent­ing Ho­tel guests will also be served break­fast from the new venue.

When the re­vamp was first an­nounced, Mr Wa­ters said: “I am look­ing for­ward, along with all of my Wa­ters team, to be mov­ing to this stun­ning new lo­ca­tion within Re­sorts World.”

Dar­ryl Collins, who this sum­mer was a fi­nal­ist in Chan­nel 4’ s

will con­tinue to over­see and di­rect the pas­try team at Re­sorts World, who will also fea­ture as part of the new rooftop venue. THE NEC’s Gent­ing Arena, has been re­named the Re­sorts World Arena to align it with the neigh­bour­ing ho­tel and leisure com­plex, Re­sorts World.

The 15,700- ca­pac­ity venue was known as the NEC Arena for years be­fore a com­mer­cial deal with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm LG saw it re­named the LG Arena in 2008 which was fol­lowed by a £ 29 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion project.

In Jan­uary 2015, the venue be­gan life as the Gent­ing Arena af­ter a ten- year deal was signed be­tween the NEC Group and Gent­ing UK, the casino and leisure group which de­vel­oped and op­er­ates the Re­sorts World Birm­ing­ham com­plex.

Re­sorts World Arena is owned and op­er­ated by the NEC Group.

Phil Mead, chair­man of NEC Group are­nas and The Ticket Fac­tory, said: “The align­ment of the Re­sorts World brand to our world- class arena will serve both par­ties well in max­imis­ing brand­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Andy Wa­ters at the open­ing of his Re­sorts World restau­rant

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