London Food And Drink News: 2 January 2014

Expanding: Ollie Dabbous

Expanding: Ollie Dabbous

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.

Inside this week: honours, expansions and MasterChef

New Year’s honours
Among this year’s selection of the great and good were Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, who run the Rex Restaurant Associates group. You may well not have heard of that, or of them, but it’s very likely you’ll know their one or two restaurants, which include Brasserie Zedel, The Delaunay and The Wolseley. They were recognised for services to hospitality, along with additional voluntary work. Also included in the list was Simon Munting, a sous chef at the House of Commons, no less, for his work in getting Croydon-based schoolchildren work placements in the Commons kitchens.

MasterChef in the City
Mat Follas has been steadily building a name for himself since winning MasterChef in 2009, and received widespread acclaim for his The Wild Garlic restaurant in Devon, which he opened post-win. The restaurant closed just before Christmas with details of future plans yet to be unveiled, but Devon’s loss is London’s gain (for a few weeks, at least) as Follas hosts a series of dinners in the City this month. He’ll take over the kitchens of Fish Market restaurant close to Liverpool Street on Saturday 11, 18 and 25 January cooking dishes including land and sea snails and surf clams with samphire mayonnaise. There will be two sittings each evening at 6.30pm and 8.30pm, with a three-course set menu costing £35; visit the website for details and to book.

Chef expansions 
Many of us experience an expanding waistline over the festive period, but it’s restaurant empires that big-name chefs have been looking to grow. Ollie Dabbous’s eponymous Fitzrovia restaurant is so popular that it’s difficult to get in, and now there’s another one on the horizon. Although details aren’t set-in-stone, the chef is looking to take over the site on Charlotte Street where Curry Leaf restaurant currently sits to open his second restaurant, which is named Barnyard and will be informal and serve ‘comfort food’.

Pied a Terre, which sits further down Charlotte Street, is the flagship restaurant of David Moore, who is also preparing for a new venture. He will open US-style smokehouse restaurant 160 Degrees Fahrenheit in the next few months in West Hampstead, though we don’t have details of when or where.

Trocadero seafood
Following in the footsteps of burger joints Shack Shack and Five Guys, American seafood chain Bubba Gump is coming to London. Famous for shrimp and their sea-mates in big portions, the menu across the pond includes shrimp mac ‘n’ cheese, popcorn shrimp and crab-stuffed mushrooms. The restaurant is due to open this April in the Trocadero by Piccadilly Circus, in the building that previously housed Planet Hollywood.

Talk To Us
We still want your help to keep these weekly food and drink news round-ups as relevant, up-to-date, and interesting as possible. Got any top tips, local gems or foodie news? Tried one of the new restaurants we mentioned? Leave a comment below or hit us up at hello@londonist.com. ‘Til next week…

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