Hotel group picks its man to fill first ever director of food & beverage role

Hand Picked Hotels has appointed Graeme Nesbitt as director of food & beverage in a newly-created role within the senior management team.

Nesbitt will provide strategic leadership and oversee all food and beverage operations across the country house hotel group, which includes 20 restaurants, many of which have either 2 or 3 AA Rosettes and will work closely with operations director, Douglas Waddell and group executive chef Matt Ashton.

Nesbitt joins Hand Picked Hotels from his most recent position as general manager at Lygon Arms in Worcestershire and brings almost 25 years of hospitality experience to the role.

He began his career as a chef at Gleneagles in Perthshire in 1994 before moving on to the kitchens of The Dorchester, The Savoy and Claridges in London.

He first joined the Lygon Arms in 1998 as executive head chef before moving to the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa in Scotland where he spent five years as executive chef, then director of F&B and finally resident manager in his first general manager position.

Nesbitt then took the helm at Malmaison in Edinburgh and Birmingham in 2006, followed by Cameron House in Scotland two years later, The Mere in Cheshire three years after that and then The Welcombe Golf & Spa Hotel in Stratford-Upon Avon where he left in 2016.

Mr Nesbitt commented: “I am delighted to join Hand Picked Hotels as they elevate their focus on food and local engagement, and look to implement a new strategy for its food and beverage operations. The opportunity here is phenomenal; with hugely talented chefs and remarkable dining rooms across the group, Hand Picked has all the right ingredients to build upon its stellar reputation for exceptional food and drink, and I look forward to driving forward some exciting changes to create new dining experiences for in-house guests and the local community.”

Operations director, Douglas Waddell, added: “[Graeme’s] vision for where he wants to take the food and beverage offering at Hand Picked exactly mirrors our own, and we’re looking forward to him introducing new menus, working with our local suppliers and driving our quality, service and training programmes within the F&B environment to deliver an authentic, first-class dining experience for our guests that both aligns with our brand values and fits the local destination.”

Hand Picked Hotels is an independent, privately-owned hotel group headed up by Julia Hands, with 20 hotels in locations including Edinburgh, Worcester, Bath, the New Forest and the Channel Islands.

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