Polish chef Damian Wawrzyniak is to open his first London restaurant. Wawrzyniak, 38, announced the opening of Jan, a 60-cover restaurant in Clapham, on Thursday. He told Eater he hopes to be up and running “sometime in May” — taking the place of the Turkish and Persian restaurant of the same name, though Wawrzyniak will “rebrand” and redesign the space.
Jan 2.0 will include an open kitchen and robata grill, with a focus on preserving and curing methods to “extend the summer season.” An à la carte menu will feature alongside a number of sharing plates.
Wawrzyniak told Eater: “My ambition is to bring real flavours. We’ll focus on brining methods, curing, and preserving ingredients harvested in the summer to extend the season for colder months.”
He stressed that the food will not be traditionally Polish, but a “modern take” on classics.
Wawrzyniak, who’s originally from a village called Sompolno in Poland, moved to the UK in 2005 and now owns modern-European restaurant House of Feasts on the outskirts of Peterborough. There, he puts out two tasting menus (five and seven courses), with dishes such as ‘beef tartare with a cured egg yolk and preserved cucumber’, and ‘potato cake with cottage cheese, ash, and chive.’
The chef-restaurateur trained in France, worked for a time in Pakistan, and completed a stage at Noma in 2012. Food writer Tony Naylor listed him as one of his ‘top 10 food pioneers’ in BBC Good Food, mentioning pierogi and smalec — which Wawrzyniak once served to Prince William and Kate Middleton — as highlights.