We take a look at some of the UK’s latest restaurant industry news, from openings to property trends to rebranding missions.
Sustainability is a trend that shows no sign of waning, with high-end establishments now getting in on the action. One of the first to do so is chef Adam Handling with his new concept Ugly Butterfly. The restaurant is due to open on 13th of November and will be situated on Chelsea’s King’s Road, just a stone’s throw from Handling’s other restaurant at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel. This is no coincidence, as the Ugly Butterfly will be using ingredients from the Cadogan, such as cheese doughnuts, made with leftovers from the Cadogan cheese board, tartare with beef from retired dairy cows, lobster shell soup, and deboned crispy chicken feet, fried and topped with caviar.
“When it came to putting the menu together for Ugly Butterfly, the first stage in the process was to see what we could do to eliminate any wastage at Adam Handling Chelsea, which is just down the road to the new site,” Handling told the Standard. “Ugly Butterfly and Adam Handling Chelsea are, pretty much, two sides to the same food story. There’s a direct relationship between what we serve at what appear to be two very different concepts. As well as looking to feature the four most regularly wasted food items in the UK – bread, eggs, bananas and milk – we’ve also developed dishes which use the offcuts from the premium ingredients that we cook with.”
Pop-ups are nothing new but recently there has been an increase in sites formerly housing permanent restaurants instead adopting a rotation model instead. One such site is 10 Heddon Street in Mayfair, formerly home to Magpie but now trialling a different approach, with David Carter and Chris Leach’s pasta concept having taken up residency there for three months. They will reportedly be followed by a Japanese pop-up by Australian chef Shaun Presland this month.
This form of leasing has many positives for both landlords and restaurant operators as it respectively presents a brand-new way to use introduce a greater amount of people to a property and is a good way to test if concepts will work without committing to a long lease. They can also act as a steppingstone on the way to a more permanent location. As David Carter himself put it, “It’s given us confidence, which you need when you are going to pour the better part of half a million to a million pounds into a restaurant.”
At the beginning of this year, the well-known bakery went into administration – but were saved at the last minute by Causeway Capital Partners who believe there’s life in the high street brand yet. They have promised “no more frozen pies in microwaves” and instead opted to revamp the whole brand. They have ditched the old colours for blue and gold and added new items to the menu, such as croque monsieur made from two Neal’s Yard cheeses, vegetarian chilli and venison and cranberry stew bowls.
The baked goods section hasn’t been neglected either, with a collaboration between Patisserie Valerie and chef Rashimi Bennett of Anges de Sucre bakery to create two eclairs in raspberry and pistachio flavours, a salted caramel and chocolate bombe and a winter spiced cheesecake. Sources claim that the menu overhaul has been massive, with around 70% of the products undergoing some kind of change – but will it be enough? There’s stiff competition from places like Gail’s and Le Pain Quotidien, but Patisserie Valerie may yet find its niche and banish their bad reputation.
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