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New York City’s Star Restaurateurs Come to London to Make It Nice

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara will open Davies and Brook at Claridge’s Hotel

Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, wearing suits and smiling, standing in front of a step and repeat sign at a party
Restaurateur Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm
Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards

World-famous restaurateurs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara will open their first London restaurant at iconic Mayfair hotel, Claridge’s. As first reported by Bloomberg, the operators of Eleven Madison Park in New York will open Davies and Brook in the summer 2019, replacing Fera, which closed at the end of last year, and confirming rumours of the Eleven Madison Park’s owners’ first London project.

EMP is one of New York City’s five three-Michelin-starred restaurants, and the best restaurant in the world according to World’s 50 Best Awards in 2017. It is currently fourth in the world, according to those awards, and will bring “a fine dining restaurant without pretence that embraces the heritage of its location with a contemporary sensibility” to London. The hotel, and the restaurant, straddles Davies and Brook Street in Mayfair. The convention of naming something after a street intersection is straight out of the NYC-style playbook. The menus won’t be out of that playbook, according to Richard Vines at Bloomberg, eschewing the tasting format at EMP for a two, or three course offering. Humm also moved to dismiss overt focus on lineage: “We are not opening Eleven Madison Park in London.”

He went on to say: “Having the opportunity to bring our cuisine and hospitality to the most storied hotel in the world is really a remarkable feeling and a dream come true.”

“But on a more personal level, this is my first time opening a restaurant in Europe, a place I left so many years ago to forge a career in America. Most people don’t know this, but I even worked at Claridge’s when I was 15 years only and it left an indelible mark on me. Claridge’s has always been a place I’ve felt connected to, so being able to come full circle is really emotional and exciting — it feels likes coming home.”

Writing on Instagram, Will Guidara paid tribute to “a brand of hospitality that felt so familiar to me, so aligned to my own.”

View this post on Instagram

I remember the first time I walked into Claridge’s like it was yesterday. @danielhumm and I were in London for the @theworlds50best, and we decided to splurge on a nice place to stay to celebrate the occasion. That hotel had always held a special place in Daniel’s heart and he really wanted me to see it, so we booked our rooms... I fell in love the moment they opened the front doors for us. But here’s the thing- it wasn’t because of how over the top gorgeous it was, or how perfectly attentive the service was, or how unbelievably cool the old school elevator (with the elevator operator!) was, or how well appointed the rooms were, or how they seemed to anticipate our every need... It was because there, at that storied hotel, I saw a brand of hospitality that felt so familiar to me, so aligned with our own. They took what they did so seriously, but they didn’t take themselves too seriously. They were running one of the greatest hotels on the planet, and you could tell they were having a blast doing it. Their smiles were infectious, their passion contagious... it immediately felt like a second home. So the fact that all these years later, I get to announce that we are opening a restaurant there??? And the fact that in doing we get to become of a small part of one of the greatest food cities in the world? It’s a dream come true. We can’t wait to introduce you to our newest restaurant- Davies & Brook, coming later this year. @daviesandbrook @claridgeshotel #makeitnice

A post shared by Will Guidara (@wguidara) on

Guidara said the duo was eager to transition into their new home. “We’re eager to become a part of the community in London, one that has felt like a second home to us over the years, and to deepen the relationships we have there while serving Daniel’s food and bringing our style of service.

The history of Claridge’s and the responsibility that comes with opening a restaurant within those walls is not something we take lightly – it’s an opportunity we’re truly humbled by and we can’t wait to open our doors later this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Humm and Guidara’s motto, “make it nice,” is known for its hyper intuitive brand of hospitality; it hides a ferociously obsessive mentality and attention to detail regarding cooking, plating, and service. Said mentality was recently exhibited in Netflix documentary Seven Days Out, which went behind the scenes on the reopening of Eleven Madison Park following a top-to-bottom refurbishment.

Their first London restaurant will be designed by Brad Cloepfel, who recently completed that refurbishment. It included employing artist Daniel Turner to melt down the kitchen’s old stove into a step into the new dining room, as a means of reminding the restaurant of its history and iterations.

Paddy McKillen, co-owner of Claridge’s said: “We are very excited to bring longtime friends and guests of the hotel; Daniel, Will and their exceptional team to Claridge’s, as we have been looking for an opportunity to work with them for some time.

“I know their extraordinary culinary vision will lead the way for a new dining direction at Claridge’s, and we all share a belief in creating something truly special that both our guests and Londoners alike will enjoy.”

More soon.