Eater London’s restaurant of the year, P. Franco, has announced that chef George Tomlin will become the fifth semi-permanent resident of the wine bar and shop’s two induction hobs from the beginning of March. The owners have also told Eater London that they have begun looking for new premises — “Somewhere with a slightly larger kitchen, which will not be hard.”
In Australia, Tomlin is best known for his work as head chef at The Town Mouse in Melbourne where he worked from 2012 until 2015. Between winning two Australian awards for young chef of the year between 2013 and 2016, Tomlin moved to London to work at The Clove Club with Isaac McHale and Tim Spedding. He left last year, having risen to junior sous chef.
Tomlin featured at P. Franco in July last year and, the bar owners told Eater London, has already written a number of menus and is said to be “super excited.” Guest have been told to expect food in line with what was served at last summer’s appearance — a menu which included:
- Friggitelli peppers, garum and pinenuts
- Horse mackerel and radish, almond milk and lovage
- Tomatoes and fennel seed butter
- Ricotta gnudi and comte
- Gooseberries, roast white chocolate and chamomile
Tomlin will join P. Franco’s current guest chef, Peppe Belvedere between 22 and 25 February, “a handover week.” He will then go solo from 1 March. Although there is no official end date, the chef is planning for a six month residency.
Although Londoners might be more attuned to the cooking at The Clove Club, Tomlin wants to cook food closely linked to Town Mouse. Guests are being urged not to expect the intricate, modern European style of fine dining that has won McHale and co.’s kitchen a Michelin star, but the relaxed Italo-Antipodean brand of new-wave bistro cooking which has united P. Franco’s rotating chefs: Pasta, charcuterie, cheese, and assemblies inflected by ingredients and seasonings belonging to no strict culinary tradition.
P. Franco has also announced that it will continue to do events with (largely natural European) winemakers and other guest chefs throughout the year. The owners also hope to activate other pop-ups outside of P. Franco, following a recent collaboration in Tokyo. Finally, manager Phil Bracey said: “Obviously, even more hopefully, we can open something else this year as well, but obviously (again) it has to be the right opportunity.”