Fitzrovia institution Pied à Terre has named Asimakis Chaniotis as its new head chef, taking over from former executive head chef Andy McFadden, as reported by Big Hospitality. Whether f**** are given or not, Chaniotis will certainly, well, care: he has immediately moved to ban swearing in his new kitchen.
Chaniotis said: “The industry is changing. I worked briefly at Per Se in New York. The kitchen has three stars to hold onto but the atmosphere is calm and there is certainly no swearing. I'm not saying I've never sworn myself because I have, but I try not to now and never at anyone." The move is clearly designed to exert power over the kitchen, but in a form unfamiliar to most restaurateurs; an atmosphere of calm, measured efficiency, rather than the stereotyped clamour of heat, aggression, and bullying. Per Se might be Chanoitis’ touchstone, but other famous kitchens follow suit: Fäviken in Sweden, Maaemo in Norway, Alinea in the USA. Pied’s kitchen is a particularly striking place to introduce such a rule: when Tom Aikens presided over the restaurant, it was famed for its machismo; accusations surfaced of a young chef being branded with a hot palette knife, with Aikens leaving shortly afterwards in 1999.
Chaniotis’ menu will take cues from his Grecian upbringing, in a small but significant foray for owner David Moore, who is widely and deservedly regarded for his painstakingly modern/French vision. The restaurant has held a Michelin star for 24 years and counting, holding a second between 1996 and 2012. Given the recent closure of L’Autre Pied, having lost its Michelin star, clearly Michelin remains relevant to Moore: Chaniotis will be on board to retain Pied’s place in the little red book, keeping things PG all the while.