Neil Perry has announced his retirement after more than 40 years in the culinary industry.

However, the chef will remain on board with Rockpool Dining Group as a consultant and a major shareholder.

“As the business now needs to embark on a new chapter, it is time for a fresh start,” says Perry

“It will never be easy to move on from the restaurants I founded, and I do so with a heavy heart, but as the business and the sector set their sights on new beginnings, it is the right time for the next generation to have the opportunity afforded to me over 40 years ago.”

In March this year, it was announced Rockpool Dining Group had plans to split, with Perry raising funds to buy back Rockpool Bar and Grill, Rosetta, Spice Temple, R Bar in Crown Melbourne and the 11 Bridge Street site in Sydney.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the industry over the past few months and forced the temporary closure of many restaurants, including those Perry had plans to buy back.

In a June article, AFR magazine reported Perry had plans to remain with Quadrant Group until the value of the restaurants could be determined, with the eventual split of the group slated to occur in 2021.

But Perry’s deal with private equity investors fell through late last month, with Perry commenting: “We are just working hard on getting the restaurants open and getting back to normal once all restrictions are off, no one knows when that is.”

Perry says he will now focus on Hope Delivery, a charity initiative which provides free meals for those in need.

“For now, I will throw my passion and effort into Hope Delivery, which supports those in need, as well as my other commitments.”

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