The woman behind one of the country’s best-known vegetarian restaurants has sold it after 26 years - to two of her staff.
Demuths founder Rachel Demuth will now concentrate on her cookery school, cookery travel breaks and writing career.
Ms Demuth opened the award-winning restaurant in North Parade Passage with her partner in 1987 and it quickly flourished thanks to its mix of seasonal, local ingredients and international techniques based on her extensive travels in Africa, India, the Far East, and South America.
The new owners of the business are Richard Buckly, head chef for the past three years and his front of house colleague, Rob Eldon.
Ms Demuth said: “Running a successful restaurant depends on appreciating the loyalty of your customers. Demuths’ staff take great pride in vegetarian cooking and the greatest pleasure was knowing that on any day there were both vegetarians and meat-eaters enjoying our menu.”
The chef, author, columnist and cookery school tutor has been pioneering what she calls creative, healthy and unpretentious vegetarian food since she opened the organic Broad Street Bakery in the city in 1984 after training at the Neal’s Yard Bakery in London.
She launched the Vegetarian Cookery School in Terrace Walk in 2001, and has since attracted thousands of students, spurring her to continue to develop new ideas that combine cookery teaching, travel and local ingredients.
Ms Demuth is now leading cookery travel breaks to some of her favourite food destinations and is working on her fourth cookery book, which will be released towards the end of the year.
She said: “There are many exciting projects in the pipeline. Leaving the restaurant in capable hands means I can focus on my other passions and I look forward to sharing these with everyone.”
Demuths was voted Best Vegetarian Restaurant by Gourmet Britain in 2010 and Best Vegan Restaurant of the Year by the Vegan Society in 2009.