Carl Riley, Lunar
Carl Riley, new head chef at Lunar restaurant, based at World of Wedgwood, in Barlaston.

Top restaurant Lunar announces appointment of new head chef – and introduces a series of new menus 

1 min read

A new head chef has been brought in at Lunar following the departure of Chef Director and two-star Michelin chef Niall Keating. 

Carl Riley has taken up the position at the restaurant based at World of Wedgwood, in Barlaston, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a distinguished culinary background. His first service is at lunchtime today, 24 May.

An additional series of new menus has also been launched, designed to offer “exceptional quality with a focus on choice and value for money” whilst continuing a commitment to work with local suppliers. 

Carl, who is said to have been handpicked due to shared strong beliefs and values surrounding sustainability and sourcing local ingredients, said: “My key aim is to cook high-welfare, sustainable ingredients in a simple way, using bold flavours and technical flair. 

“I have a unique and distinctive stamp that I put on all my dishes to show my personality on the plate, making for an exciting experience for each guest.” 

Classically French-trained chef Carl has worked in some of the finest restaurants and hotels in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, honing his skills at several Michelin-accredited and AA Rosette restaurants. He has held a Michelin Plate, Bib Gourmand and three AA Rosettes. 

Niall left the restaurant last weekend after he and fellow founder Craig Wilkinson mutually decided to part ways. He will be focusing on a new venture which involves teaming up with former England international footballer and TV pundit Gary Neville to open a new restaurant in Manchester in June. 

Lunar, interior, World of Wedgwood
Inside Lunar restaurant, based at World of Wedgwood.

The new menus introduced by Carl celebrate Staffordshire’s rich heritage, focusing on local ingredients and sustainable practices.  

A small plates menu allows guests to enjoy a variety of dishes in a communal dining style whilst the new Plat Du Jour set menu starts at £36 for two courses. 

The multi-course Lunar Experience Menu will continue at a reduced cost. 

Craig said: “As we move forward, we uphold the core values that guided us at the beginning of our Lunar journey. We honour our heritage through Lunar Wedgwood storytelling and celebrate the present with our dedicated team, local suppliers, and contemporary artists. 

“We remain focused on the future by striving for sustainability in our food and decor. Lunar offers a unique experience that Staffordshire can take pride in, featuring modern dining on beautiful Wedgwood tableware and drinks served in Waterford Crystal glassware. 

“Moving forward, we present carefully crafted menus by our exceptionally talented local Head Chef, Carl Riley, ensuring our guests receive quality and choice while we continue to build on our past successes.” 

Jemma Harrison, Head of World of Wedgwood, part of Fiskars Group, added: “I am really excited to welcome Carl to Wedgwood and see the evolution of Lunar as it begins a new chapter.” 

Lunar restaurant, World of Wedgwood

Hayley Johnson

Senior journalist with over 15 years’ experience writing for customers and audiences all over the world. Previous work has included everything from breaking news for national newspapers to complex business stories, in-depth human-interest features and celebrity interviews - and most things in between.

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