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Jason Atherton has apparently finally taken the plunge and left Maze, just as his book Maze: The Cookbook is being published. In a short piece in tonight’s Evening Standard, it’s being reported that Atherton will leave next month after eight years working with Gordon Ramsay Holdings.

The timing also couldn’t be more acute for Ramsay who just launched another branch of Maze in Melbourne two days ago.

In an interview with Big Hospitality last month, Jason said of his colleague at Maze and Maze Grill,  James Durrant, 'I see him creating his own brand soon, and we’re encouraging him as I speak. He’s been in that position for a while and we must allow him to grow. He’s one to watch. Perhaps Durrant will be taking over at Maze if Jason really is going – we’ll keep you posted.

The Standard suggests that Atherton will remain as a shareholder, but is thought to want to open his own restaurant.

[Update 1 April 2010] Ramsay last night was on Twitter congratulating Atherton on the move; 'Jason's ready to fly the nest.Time for him to have his name above the door.Who doesn't want that? I wish him every success, an amazing guy.' he tweeted.

And in an interview with Bloomberg's Richard Vines, Jason said: 'If I succeed because it means Gordon has does a good job training his guys. I’m really excited to get a chance to use all the knowledge I’ve accumulated over 20 years cooking to finally do my own venture.'

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