New head chef for Neighbourhood after refurb

CHEF Mike Jennings will head up the kitchens at Neighbourhood when a £1m refurbishment of the venue completes next month.

The Spinnigfields bar and restaurant closed following the Bank Holiday weekend and will reopen to the public on Friday, June 3.

Jennings, who trained under former Manchester United chef Gary Rhodes, has joined East Coast Concepts’ Neighbourhood from Grenache.

James Hitchen, the owner and founder of New-York inspired East Coast Concepts, says recruiting Jennings will bolster the business as it eyes the £11m turnover mark.

“This is a fantastic appointment for us,” said Hitchen. “It’s also great timing as Mike will come in and work in a totally new-look venue.

“The bar, restaurant, everything, will be absolutely new as we are currently refurbishing the whole of Neighbourhood.”

East Coast Concepts – also the parent company of Victor’s in Hale – will open a Neighbourhood in Liverpool in the autumn as expansion continues.

Hitchen added: “Neighbourhood has been integral to the explosion of the restaurant and bar scene in Manchester since opening in 2013.

“But things needed to change to reflect evolution of not just Spinningfields, but our customers too.

“We believe our new and exciting menu will reflect what customers want as we focus on providing something for everybody.”

The appointment of Jennings as head chef comes just a few weeks after Ciaran Hogg left Manchester House to become East Coast Concepts operations director.

Jennings landed two AA Rosettes and a Good Food Guide ‘Best Restaurant’ award at Grenache and has also worked under well-known chefs Shaun Ranking and Nigel Haworth.

He was going to be the original head chef at Neighbourhood before another opportunity came up for him in 2013.

Hitchen said: “Right now is the perfect time for him to join and lead the Neighbourhood kitchens. It also comes at an exciting time as we are on track to employ more than 200 people when the new Neighbourhood opens in Liverpool in October.”