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benspaldingSo the big news this weekend was the announcement by Roganic's Head Chef Ben Spalding of his departure from the restaurant. Spalding, who left Roganic on Friday tweeted the following day; "To set any rumours straight- I have made the very hard decision to leave Roganic to spend more time with my young family and pursue my dream of opening my own restaurant. Very grateful to every single member of the team at Roganic who worked so hard to make Roganic what it is today."

Spalding went on to say that his time working with Simon Rogan, "has been a massive inspiration to me and I look forward to relying on his advice in my future." And those warm feelings were echoed by Rogan who later tweeted, "I thank Ben for his contribution to Roganic but it's business as usual with me, Daniel Cox and Andy [Tomlinson] to push Roganic forward."

So what's next for this hottest of hot young chefs who's had plaudits rained on him since Roganic first opened last summer. "I am looking into a new project," he confirmed to Hot Dinners, "but there's nothing official yet." A reminder - Spalding arrived at Roganic via the kitchens of Thomas Keller's Per Se, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes W1 and L'autre Pied, so he's definitely one to watch.

We'll bring you news of Ben's next move as soon as we hear of it.

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