P. Franco, Hackney’s game-changing wine bar and essential London restaurant, has announced that Australian chef Seb Myers will take over the famed induction hobs as guest chef from Thursday 21 November. He replaces Túbo Logier, who has held the post since April.
Myers has been cooking in London for the majority of the last seven years, having begun with the celebrated Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes at the then pioneering Viajante at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.
He subsequently ran the kitchen at Chiltern Firehouse and Sager + Wilde Paradise Row, before taking over at The Laughing Heart Cave, that restaurant’s downstairs on Hackney Road, and later, co-founding the Snackbar project with Freddie Janssen (before it went permanent earlier this year; Myers is no longer involved with Snackbar.)
In the past two years Myers has taken residencies in Paris, cooked at dinner and pop-ups in Melbourne and Lisbon, and, most recently, at the venerable Auberge de Chassignolles in the French countryside, south west of Lyon.
He told Eater that his menu at P. Franco will be “inspired by the seasons, local products, and country cooking. Style wise I guess I’m taking inspiration from cave a manger places in a Paris and leaning into the colder weather with a little comfort food too.”
Some dishes he says might make an appearance will be red mullet and onion tartine; cuttlefish rice and bergamot, and pork rillettes with pickled turnips.
Diners can expect to see the sort of modern and dynamic, French-rooted food which is both hearty and given to finesse and which has become the most common bedfellow of the natural wine movement: Conscientiously sourced meat and seafood, fine vegetables, broths, and the practice of fermentation. Given the agricultural focus and obsession with terroir of the world’s most influential natural wine producers — and the increasing amount of time chefs and sommeliers are spending with those producers — an even closer relationship to French culinary practices looks like an obvious evolution for the food served in these venues, too. “Country cooking” could be key to Myers’ point of difference at P. Franco.
Before Logier’s residency, Anna Tobias — on whom London awaits details of a next move — spent six months dispelling any notion that P. Franco had become too cheffy; she leaned hard into distinctly untrendy, often beige, entirely unInstagrammable plates. Tobias had replaced chef George Tomlin last September. Before Tomlin, P. Franco and its induction hobs was occupied by chefs: 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 last May. Gleave, together with Phil Bracey, co-owner and wine aficionado across the group, opened the skewer restaurant Peg, on Morning Lane in Hackney, in February this year.