Rowley Leigh, one of a generation of seminal British chefs (along with the likes of Alastair Little, Sally Clarke and Simon Hopkinson) is to fully takeover the restaurant — Parabola — at the Design Museum in Kensington.
Leigh let the news slip — “I couldn’t resist a plug,” he told Eater London — at the Financial Times Weekend Festival on Sunday, which Hot Dinners first reported this morning.
The chef told Eater London today that he’s already on site, working and preparing to launch his “first menus next week.” It will be much more of a hands-on role than he’s been playing since the site opened last year. “I’m in charge of the thing,” he said. “I’ve been working with them since last year, as a consultant and guest chef. I told [the owners, Peter Prescott, Terence and Vicki Conran] I thought instead of being an event venue we should run it as a conventional restaurant with plenty of choice. And they said, ‘Well, if that’s the case, then you better do it!’”
Leigh was direct when asked what the restaurant would be like. “We’re not going to be strong-arming people into spending a lot of money. It’s not a new bao concept or this, that or the other. It’s just straightforward cooking.” When Eater London then asked whether guests could expect Leigh’s trademark seasonal British cooking, he said, “Absolutely. Whatever that is. Please don’t ask me [what my style of cooking is].”
The chef also confirmed that he has parted company with the Soho House Group — with whom he worked as a consultant chef and helped to launch their restaurant, Cafe Monico on Shaftesbury Avenue last year. The chef’s most recent solo project was Le Cafe Anglais, in the upstairs of Whiteleys shopping centre in Queensway, on the edge of Notting Hill, which closed in 2014. His return will be welcomed.