Eater London’s restaurant of the year, P. Franco, has announced that Anna Tobias will replace George Tomlin as its next chef in residence.
Tobias, who counts Jeremy Lee, Margot Henderson, and Ruth Rogers as former employers — at the Blueprint Cafe, Rochelle Canteen, and River Cafe, respectively — will take over the now-famous Clapton wine bar’s induction hobs from 27 September, as she becomes the venue’s sixth resident head chef.
Tobias has been confirmed for at least a six month stint, which will last into the spring of 2019. Like her predecessors, she will cook dinner from 6pm — 10pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as from 2pm through to 9pm on Sunday.
“P. Franco has always been impressed with Anna’s approach to using some of the best produce and integrity when it comes to her style, we could not be happier,” the restaurant said in a statement.
Tobias, who is a lover of cookery writers Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson, and Simon Hopkinson wants “to create simple and good European food [and] will give a nod to some of the great, traditional and sometimes forgotten or under-appreciated dishes” over the coming months.
“I’m so excited to start cooking at P. Franco. It’s a place that has always offered a fantastic platform for the chefs who have cooked there in the past,” she said.
“More importantly though, P. Franco has a genuine belief in the wines they pour and the service they offer and this is what has made me feel enthused about coming on board. The team are so wonderful and thoughtful and genuinely care about giving people a great experience, which is exactly what food and drink should be about.”
Produce — and quality ingredients — have always been central to Tobias’ cooking, a shared focus among her three principal mentors. With it, she aims “to do as little to the produce, to get the best out of it.”
“Food should be generous and hearty and I think this approach is a perfect match with P. Franco,” she added. Although there is not yet a launch menu to reveal, Eater has been told that her menus will feature soups, stews, and puddings — which might present an exciting departure from the more minimalist neo-fine-dining style brilliantly showcased by past occupiers of the inductions.
Before Tomlin, P. Franco featured Pepe Belvedere, Giuseppe Lacorazza, Tim Spedding, and Will Gleave. Belvedere and Gleave together now run the kitchen at P. Franco’s sister restaurant, Bright, which opened close to London Fields in May.