Joining from Nathan Outlaw, a restaurant, Simpson will begin his new role from January 3 delivering his first service when Gidleigh Park re-opens on January 12.
Simpson has been head chef at Nathan Outlaw – which has two Michelin stars – for seven years.
He said: “It’s a privilege to have been offered the opportunity to take up the reins at Gidleigh Park, somewhere I’ve admired since I very first started cooking. Moving with the support of Nathan, I’m excited to be heading up my own kitchen and am ready for this next challenge in my career.
“I’m also delighted to be staying in the south west, to be able to continue to work with all the great local produce and suppliers in our region, and I’m looking forward to working with the talented Gidleigh Park team.”
Stephanie Hocking, CEO of Andrew Brownsword Hotels, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce Chris’s appointment as executive head chef at Gidleigh Park.
“Having long been aware of Chris’s exceptional talent, we were very lucky to secure him as apart from his talent and experience, he shares our vision of serving the ‘very best of Devon’ to our guests at Gidleigh Park.’’
Outgoing Wignall left on 1 January 2018 after almost two years at Gidleigh Park.