Between the 6 and 8 December, chef Elizabeth Haigh who helped win Hackney restaurant Pidgin its Michelin star in 2016 will collaborate with Noma Mexico’s sommelier Honey Spencer at Narroway Studio — the “creative food space” and neighbourhood kitchen run by author Anna Jones, photographer Issy Croker, and stylist Emily Ezekiel. The event designed for early Christmas celebrations is described as a “boldly indulgent and creatively decadent” coming together of Haigh’s Kaizen House brand and Spencer’s recently formed collaborative wine initiative, Bastarda.
Haigh’s solo debut — Shibui — is expected to open in early 2019, a restaurant that “will promote wood fire cooking, European dishes with subtle details and bold Asian flavour accents.”
Sommelier Spencer is the third and final member of the three founders or core team members to have left Old Street restaurant Nuala inside a year. She follows executive chef Niall Davidson, the reasons for whose quiet departure remain unknown, and head chef Colin McSherry, who is now opening grill restaurant Grid Iron with Hawksmoor’s Richard Turner on the site of the Met Bar in Park Lane.
Through Bastarda, Spencer has promised to “create a series of unique and intelligent collaborations between innovators and tastemakers to push the boundaries this festive season.” The dinners with Haigh will be the third major project, following a weekend residency at hit summer location Giant Steps, where she joined up with Anaïs Van Manen, and a collaboration with Empirical Spirits of Copenhagen at Climpsons Arch.
In December, guests will experience a five-course, wine-matched (modern) “Christmas feast” designed by Haigh and paired with Spencer’s “suitcase wines”: small batches from prolific winemakers, plus rare vintages, and premium classics, from all over the world.
About the collaboration, Haigh told Eater London: “I’m so excited about this upcoming collaboration. I’ve been a big admirer of Honey’s work for a long time, and I absolutely love every wine recommendation she brings, so I know we are in for a treat with the wine pairings for our menu. I’ve created the menu to represent the ultimate Christmas feast that’s indulgent and fun like the evening will be.”
Menu items revealed to Eater include: “Duck duck goose” (pigeon, duck and goose pithivier (pie) with coffee roasted carrots and smoked XO sprout tops) and, “xmas kaya s’mores” (coconut marshmallow, kaya jam, and cinnamon biscuit). The evening will include a five-course paired dinner, plus an arrival drink.
Spencer’s wine selections will prioritise responsible agriculture; she’s told guests to expect natural wines “in all of their guises all intended to reflect the rarity and uniqueness of this collaboration.”
Just 30 spaces are available each night with tickets — priced at £125 each (plus booking fee) — scheduled to go live on Monday 29 October. The evenings will start at 6.30pm with a 7pm sit down. For full and further menu details, check out both @bastardaldn and @kaizenldn.