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Spanish City Appoints First Key Staff Members


Apr 24, 2018 #Kymel, #Spanish City

The hospitality group behind operations at the new Spanish City, Kymel, have announced the fulfilment of the two most senior posts within the business ahead of the summer opening. Chris Marsh and Alan O’Kane have come on board in their roles as General Manager and Executive Head Chef respectively. With a wealth of experience between them, the duo are looking forward to the exciting challenge ahead of them.

Chris graduated from Edinburgh Napier with a degree in Hospitality Management, before taking part in the Marriott Graduate Trainee Programme. Following this, he held roles on the Royal Yacht Britannia, working at events with the Queen in attendance and undertook a placement at a prestigious members-only country club in Connecticut before becoming a GM at the Castle Venlaw Hotel at the age of only 24.

Since then, Chris has worked in senior roles including Group General Manager of PAG Castle Hotels in Scotland, General Manager at Broadoaks Country House near Windermere and GM at The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth, holding a certificate of excellence in every establishment he managed.

Chris said ‘The local area is very special to me and I feel I have a real understanding of what Spanish City means to the local people and tourists because it means a lot to me too. I went to school in Tynemouth and have fond memories of Spanish City in all of its glory, I can’t wait to see it restored and reopened again.

I am incredibly excited about my new role and look forward to being part of the Spanish City story and heading up the team. We will breathe new life into the venue whilst creating a place that is a huge part of the community. The restaurants and bars inside the building have been chosen carefully in order to make sure there is something for everyone and that’s very important to us.

Whilst the renovations are coming along incredibly well, we also need to find the right people and are currently in the middle of a recruitment drive. We’re hoping to find some excellent local employees that will become the heart and soul of the place.

Much of my background is in weddings and I’m passionate about creating a very special and unique place to get married, we want to be the best wedding venue in the North East and the incredible architecture, views and banqueting options we have will help us to do that’.

Alongside the General Manager is the Executive Head Chef, a position that has been filled by talented chef, Alan O’Kane. A well-known name throughout the region and Yorkshire, Alan has held roles at Bistro 21, The Savoy, Michelin starred Capital Hotel in London, Foxhills Country Club and Resort in Surrey, Wynyard Hall and most recently, The Black Swan & Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley.

Alan’s enthusiasm for food and impressive levels of creativity have earned him a range of accolades including three AA Rosettes, a Bib Gourmand and North East Small Hotel of the Year (both as Executive Head Chef and Proprietor at the Angel in Corbridge), A North East Tourism Award and spots in the Top Five Coastal Restaurant in The Times and The Observer (as Head Chef and Proprietor of Sidney’s of Tynemouth). Alongside creating dishes himself, Alan is also passionate about bringing hardworking employees through the ranks to fulfil their potential, he works closely with Newcastle Catering College doing demonstrations and mentoring students.

Alan said ‘The reinvention of Spanish City creates some incredible dining options which is something I’m really excited about. I’m already in the process of hiring some very talented chefs and also seeking out enthusiastic new talent who want to learn their trade somewhere inspiring and fresh.

I’ve been given a big task to create and refine menus across all six venues, so that’s including fine-dining, a busy function space, a tearoom serving specialist afternoon teas, an established fish & chip restaurant, the Champagne Bar that will have snacks and a range of oyster options and finally an ice cream and waffle house. We want to create distinct atmospheres within each venue and the food and drink offering is a huge part of that, we’ve already begun speaking to and meeting with the best suppliers in the area and testing ideas, we need to get every aspect spot on so we’re working really hard to do that.

I want Spanish City to be a food venue in the North East that stands with the best in the region, we aren’t going to be cutting any corners and everything will be of the highest quality. At the moment I just can’t wait to get into the kitchens and get going’.

Spanish City will be holding a recruitment event at Whitley Bay Library on Friday 27th April from 1.30-7pm and Saturday 28th April from 1.30-5pm 2018. Interested parties are invited to drop-in at any time with no need to book an appointment, there are almost 100 job opportunities available, 99 to be exact, with roles including:

Trenchers Fish and Chip restaurant

  • Trenchers Restaurant Manager
  • Trenchers Assistant Managers
  • Trenchers Supervisors
  • Trenchers Bar and Waiting staff

Spanish City Waffle & Pancake House

  • Waffle and Pancake House Supervisors
  • Waffle and Pancake House Waiting and Counter Staff

St Mary’s Lighthouse Suite (conference and banqueting)

  • Conference and Banqueting Assistant Manager
  • Banqueting Supervisors
  • Banqueting Bar and Waiting staff

1910 and Champagne Bar

  • Head bar people and Mixologists
  • Head Waiter/ Waitress
  • Bar and Waiting staff

Valerie’s Tearoom

  • Valerie’s Tearoom Manager
  • Valerie’s Tearoom Assistant Manager
  • Valerie’s Tearoom Supervisors
  • Valerie’s Tearoom Waiting and Counter Staff

General Roles

  • Venue administrator
  • Cleaners
  • Maintenance staff
  • Apprentice Customer Service/ F.O.C

Kitchen Based Roles

  • Sous Chef
  • Head Chef – Pasty Based
  • Chef de Partie – Pastry Based
  • Chef de Partie
  • Commis chef
  • Trenchers Range Chef/ Fryer
  • Apprentice Chef

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