ONE of the country’s most acclaimed Michelin-starred chefs will be heading to the North East, to officially open a unique hotel and restaurant.

The Vault, formerly the River’s Edge Hotel, Gateshead, has been transformed over the past year into a training facility for young people with autism and learning difficulties to get real experience, with a view to equipping them to work in the hospitality industry.

And now the transformation of the hotel is complete, it will be officially opened by Michel Roux Jr at a special event on 5 October, who will also get to see the food operation at The Vault.

Michel, the second generation of the legendary Roux dynasty, runs the two Michelin star restaurant, Le Gavroche in London and is also renowned for his work in encouraging people to work in the hospitality industry.

His family established the Roux Scholarship which has given some of the UK’s leading chefs their first step on the culinary ladder and Michel himself has mentored young people on tv in series including The Chef’s Protégé and notably, Kitchen Impossible, where he helped young people with learning difficulties find work in the industry.

John Heron, owner of the St Camillus Leisure Group which owns The Vault, said that it was “a huge honour” that Michel Roux Jr had agreed to carry out the opening ceremony.

“We couldn’t think of anyone better and we are absolutely delighted he has agreed to come,” he said.

“We know he cares deeply about the hospitality industry and about young people who face challenges getting an opportunity and we are looking forward to showing him what we’ve achieved and to tell him about our future plans.”