David Strauss has left his role as restaurant director at Mitch Tonks’ restaurant group Rockfish.

Strauss had worked at the South West operator since February 2019, and was previously operator director at Goodman Restaurant Group.

It is understood he has left to start his own venture in London.

Strauss has been replaced by David Durban, director at Brood Hospitality. Durban has carried out consultancy work across the hospitality sector, including for Brindisa Kitchens.

Rockfish’s director of communications Laura Cowan has also stepped down from the business, leaving in May after 22 years.

Earlier this year Rockfish launched The Rockfish Seafood Academy in the hope of encouraging the next generation of chefs, specifically outside of London, to work in the industry.

Chefs will spend two days a week in Brixham under the tuition of Rockfish chef director Kirk Gosden, learning various techniques ranging from how to make sauces, prep batter and make chips from scratch, while the remaining three days will be spent at their home site working in the kitchen under the guidance of the head chef.

The group operates eight restaurants in Devon and Dorset and has submitted planning permission to open a new restaurant in Salcombe, overlooking Batson Creek.

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, for the year to 30 April 2021, Rockfish said planning permission had been granted for a new site in Sidmouth, with the group having exchanged on a further site with the details to be revealed once completed.