FINE dining restaurant L’Ortolan has appointed a new head chef who has taken over the reins at the famed Reading restaurant which held a Michelin star for 18 years.

Head chef Jamie Pearce has taken over in the kitchen this month with over a decade of senior chef experience, having worked at a host of renowned fine dining and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Most recently he joins L’Ortolan from The Montagu Arms, Hampshire, where he was head chef of the fine dining Terrace restaurant, and prior to this he worked at Cliveden House (3 AA rosette), Moorhall (2 Michelin star), Whatley Manor (2 Michelin star), the Black Rat (1 Michelin star) and had a successful Stagiare at 3 Michelin star Maaemo in 2019.

L’Ortolan held a Michelin star for 18 of the last 20 years, unfortunately missing out in recent years, at the luxurious Grade II listed setting in Shinfield.

Commenting on his new appointment, Jamie said: "It is a massive honour for me to be taking the position of head chef at L'Ortolan – a real destination with such an established culinary heritage, developed through a history of many talented chefs.

"My time on secondment at L’Ortolan last year had a real impact on me and I was keen to return. With a strong team behind me, I look forward to building on L'Ortolan's rightful place within the UK’s fine dining scene, while bringing many new ideas and dishes to the restaurant that provide the best experience for diners possible.”

L’Ortolan’s current head chef, James Greatorex, added: “It is with a heavy heart that I will be leaving L’Ortolan after almost six years. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our guests and staff, past and present.

"I am confident in the very talented team we have built here and having worked with Jamie previously I am sure that it will continue to thrive.”  

L’Ortolan’s Prorietor, Peter Newman, said: “I am grateful to James for all the work he has done over the years and I very much look forward to the exciting new cuisine that Jamie promises to bring”.