The internationally-acclaimed French chef Laurent Tourondel, who has a portfolio that stretches from New York, via Kazakhstan, to Hong Kong, will open a new restaurant inside the 153-year-old Hotel Café Royal, off Regent Street in central London this May.
The as yet unnamed restaurant in what is called “London’s first modern grand hotel,” will be the first that Tourondel has launched in Europe, although he did “for years” cook at Boodle’s, the gentleman’s club in St. James’s. His name is attached to four restaurants in New York, though it is understood the chef is no longer directly involved in those businesses. Yet, he remains perhaps best known in the United States, where he has restaurants in Miami and Charlotte, in North Carolina.
International influences are said to be evident across the new menu at Hotel Café Royal, where Tourondel “has combined his experiences [as well as America, Moscow, South America, Asia and Africa] to open a restaurant unlike anything he has done before.” Tourondel said in a statement: “I am thrilled to be returning to London. Having worked for years at Boodles, I cannot wait to create a new home in the iconic Hotel Café Royal.”
The 110-cover restaurant has been designed by the Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni, and will be located on the first floor of the hotel’s building, where, it is said, extensive refurbishments have taken place to create “an entirely new space.” An open kitchen, grill and sushi bar will offer “relaxed yet refined” all-day dining with brasserie-like booth seating. About the design of this restaurant, Lissoni said: “On this project the word ‘impossible’ was forbidden to use.”
Hotel Café Royal’s managing director, Guillaume Marly, said: “At Hotel Café Royal, we pride ourselves on bringing world class chefs and cuisine to all our guests. I am delighted to welcome Laurent to our hotel.”
The new project also has evidently pilfered key members of staff from across the upper echelons of dining in London: General manager is Dinos Tagkalos, who previously launched Ollie Dabbous’ Henrietta Hotel restaurant and bar in Covent Garden. The wine “programme” will be overseen by head sommelier Sam Heathcote who moves from the Bulgari Hotel and who previously worked at the The Clove Club in Shoreditch and Alain Ducasse’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant at the Dorchester hotel. Fabio Spinetti, from the Connaught is in as the new bars and beverage manager.