108 Garage, the Notting Hill restaurant owned by entrepreneur Luca Longobardi and executive chef Chris Denney, appointed a new head chef one month ago. Greg Clarke, who had worked under Tom Aikens, at Le Gavroche, The Ledbury and The Typing Room, took over from Deney, who had stepped away from the day-to-day running of the kitchen to oversee the expansion of the wider business. As well as 108 Garage, Longobardi opened Southam Street, also in Notting Hill, last autumn.
Following a report by Big Hospitality, a spokesperson confirmed the chef had left — “on amicable terms.” The spokesperson would not go into exactly why the chef had left so soon after his appointment, but said the owners wished him well in the future. From the chef’s Instagram account, it appears he has been in Hong Kong and is soon travelling to Australia.
After Clarke was appointed head chef last month, Longobardi had said: “We are extremely excited to welcome Greg Clarke to the team at 108 Garage. We share a mutual love of innovative, intelligent cooking and look forward to watching him discover, create and deliver an enthusing new menu daily.”
Clarke himself said: “Together with the talented team at 108 Garage, I look forward to creating food that is truly seasonal and original, with one of the most cutting edge independent restaurant groups in the country.” Until the beginning of this week, Clarke was serving a six-course tasting dinner menu for £60, which changed daily.
Denney — who last year was a little over-enthusiastic when announcing what winning a Michelin star meant to him — was principally stationed at Southam Street, but was working with Longobardi on the duo’s upcoming third site Home Noir — a space that “combines a members’ club with 20 loft apartments, a restaurant, clubhouse and roof deck.” A project which, when announced last year, was said to “be the first hospitality project in the world to raise its capital via cryptocurrency, using an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).”
108 Garage was one of last year’s hit restaurants, going from relatively unknown opening to fully booked in a matter of weeks, thanks to declarations of quality from food writers and restaurant critics. It was popular in the press, too, thanks in part to the fact that Longobardi had found Denney on the listing site, Gumtree.