Yotam Ottolenghi’s head chef at his flagship restaurant Nopi is departing to open his first solo London project. Ramael Scully will open SCULLY in the St. James’s Market development in the new year. Scully, who has worked at Nopi since it opened in 2011, is also the co-author of Ottolenghi’s NOPI Cookbook.
While the cooking at Nopi typically belongs to Ottolenghi’s trademark Middle-Eastern style, SCULLY will adopt influences from his parental heritage. The chef’s mother is of Chinese and Indian descent; his father is Irish Balinese. Scully will use sustainably-sourced ingredients from the British Isles.
Like he has been doing at Nopi, the chef will fill a larder of his homemade spices — made by dehydrating herbs, seeds and flowers, — vinegars, pickles, syrups; cultivated plant sprouts and a programme of house-made oils and animal fats.
Scully was born in Malaysia, grew up in Sydney and has worked across the Middle East, as well as in Russia and Europe. Before he opened Nopi, the chef had worked at Ottolenghi’s Islington cafe between 2005 and 2011.
Yotam Ottolenghi, himself, said of the chef: “Scully breaks the mould on any sort of ‘conventional cooking’; he has an insatiable appetite for bold and vibrant colours and irreverent blends of ingredients; his kitchen is an exciting and unexpected place to be.” Spyros Koufalakis will take over Scully as head chef at Nopi.
Scully said: “This is a huge and very exciting opportunity for me, I can’t wait to open the doors and welcome everyone to my own restaurant and bar. I’ve been waiting a long time for this and I’m honoured to have the support of so many around me.”
Nopi, the name, which is surely taken for the New York City convention for compound place-name abbreviations, refers to the location north of Piccadilly. St. James’s Market is one of London’s most recent and growing developments — it is home to recently-Michelin-starred Aquavit and one of the year’s hottest openings, Ikoyi.