Hotel manager who trained with Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc returns to the kitchen

Keith Parton at Ivy House Country Hotel. Picture: TMS Media Ltd

Keith Parton at Ivy House Country Hotel. Picture: TMS Media Ltd - Credit: Archant

A hotel manager, who was trained as a chef by two of the world's most famous cooks, has headed back into the kitchen.

Keith Parton has run Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft for four years.

But in the last few weeks he has decided to combine his leadership role with the position of head chef.

The father of three discovered his passion for cookery aged 16 and was educated by both Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc.

He said: 'After I left school I got a job at the Metropole Hotel in Birmingham. I was a commis chef, which I did for six months before I moved to The Hilton in Coventry to work under Jonathan Fraser, who used to be the executive chef worldwide for Hilton. I would work 50 or 60 hours a week, but I wanted to learn.'

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It was the education he received from Mr Fraser that gave Mr Parton an insight into how to create alternative tastes and textures.

And when he was sent to The Randolph in Oxford as chef de partie he was well equipped to work with Mr White and Mr Blanc. Mr Parton said: 'The hotel had lost a star and had gone from a five to a four. They were both sent in together to sort things out as they were very good friends of Rocco Forte who owned the hotel. They were there on and off for two years and it was really interesting working with them. I have a lot of respect for Raymond, and Marco was a real character.'

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Mr Parton previously worked as a troubleshooter for an elite team of chefs, and as a catering consultant. He recalled: 'I spent a week experimenting in the kitchen when I first arrived here, but I had to focus my attention on running it so the cooking took a back seat for some time.

'I've cooked for most of the Royal family, the last three Prime Ministers, worked for the cast and crew of Coronation Street and for Film 4. And I've been blessed to do so.'

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