Students Staff

29 March 2012

Top chef joins Wivenhoe House

Colchester Campus

Paul Boorman

Wivenhoe House, the luxury country house hotel in Colchester opening in summer 2012, has appointed award-winning Paul Boorman as its Executive Chef.

Paul Boorman, a Master Chef of Great Britain and former Essex Chef of the Year, has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking executive head chefs in the region.

With more than 20 years' experience Paul has won Colchester Chef of the Year several years running, and was Head Chef at the Juniper Restaurant at Clarice House in Colchester when it was named Essex Restaurant of the Year 2009. He was Executive head chef at the Lifehouse spa at Thorpe-le-Soken in 2010, and joined MUSA, the new contemporary restaurant at firstsite in Colchester in 2011. MUSA and Wivenhoe House both form part of University of Essex Commercial Services and Paul will continue to provide advice to MUSA’s chef team.

At Wivenhoe House, home of the Edge Hotel School, he will be responsible for the intimate fine dining Signatures restaurant in the eighteenth century historic house and the spacious contemporary brasserie in the new garden wing. The hotel has undergone a £10 million refurbishment so residents and restaurant customers alike will experience a fusion of traditional and contemporary detail.

Stephen Mannock, General Manager of Wivenhoe House, said: “Paul’s passion for locally sourced seasonal food will come through strongly on our menus, making Wivenhoe House a leading food destination for the area. His expertise will also help to inspire the student practitioners of the Edge Hotel School to become the future leaders of the food and hotel industry.”

Paul Boorman said: “The combination of old and new at Wivenhoe House will be reflected in my menus, where traditional recipes with a contemporary twist will combine with new dishes to encourage both customers and our culinary management students to think differently about food.”

The Edge Hotel School will be the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational hotel open to all, providing degree-level academic study combined with vocational learning by doing. Its first intake of students will join in June and have the rare opportunity of opening a hotel and restaurant.


Notes to editors
For further information, or a photograph of Paul outside Wivenhoe House, please contact Jenny Grinter in the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400, e-mail:

About Wivenhoe House: Once painted by Constable, the newly restored Grade II listed eighteenth century country house will include 16 bedrooms, most of them period suites, the dining room which will become the hotel’s signature restaurant, and elegant public rooms. The new garden wing will be home to a further 24 bedrooms, a brasserie for up to 120 diners plus additional meeting and function rooms, all equipped with the latest technology. The hotel is open for bookings from summer 2012. For more information, visit:

About the Edge Hotel School: The Edge Hotel School will be the UK’s first hotel school based in a fully operational hotel, Wivenhoe House in Colchester.A partnership between the independent education foundation Edge, the University of Essex and its academic partner Kaplan, it will combine a luxurious country house hotel and innovative hotel school, where the future leaders of the hospitality industry learn their profession. Students of the Edge Hotel School will ‘learn by doing’ as the basis of their two year, fast-track degree-level qualifications in hotel management and culinary management. The Edge Hotel School works closely with the hospitality industry to ensure the curriculum is relevant and students graduate equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience employers want. For more information visit:

About the University of Essex: Founded nearly 50 years ago, the University of Essex is ranked in the top ten universities in the UK for the quality of its research and in the top 20 mainstream English universities for student satisfaction. It is the most internationally diverse campus-based university in Britain, with more than one third of its 11,000 students coming from outside the UK. The University has three campuses in Essex, and partnerships with a number of other education institutions across the region. For further information, please contact Jenny Grinter, Head of Communications on 01206 872400, e-mail:

About Edge: Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit or please contact Susan Higgins, Press Officer, on 020 7960 1546, e-mail:

About Kaplan: Kaplan is a global provider of training and education and part of The Washington Post Company. For further information please contact Elizabeth Hess, Director of Communications, Kaplan Europe, on 020 7645 8968, e-mail:

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