Game-changing fine dining duo Daniel Humm and Will Guidara have split up, but they say the dissolution of the partnership that created New York City’s three-Michelin-starred institution, Eleven Madison Park, won’t impact any of their restaurants or forthcoming projects, including the opening of Davies and Brook at Claridge’s, the iconic Mayfair hotel.
A spokesperson for the hotel confirmed in an email to Eater that there were “no changes on our plans.” Humm will become the sole owner of the restaurant empire, buying Guidara out.
In a statement, Claridge’s said: “We have immense respect for Daniel and Will and all they and their team have created at Make it Nice, and we wish Will every success in his new future.
“We are fully committed to supporting Daniel and his team, as they join our Claridge’s family and work towards the opening of Davies and Brook here this Autumn. We are hugely excited to be bringing this new restaurant to the London dining scene.”
Humm and Guidara’s decision to open a first London restaurant was big news: it was never just about Eleven Madison Park’s redefinition of fine dining, but their earnestly performed, seemingly irrepressible bromance. Signing Humm and Guidara was a coup for Claridge’s and potentially big news for London’s restaurant scene precisely because they had signed Humm and Guidara: a chef devoted to endless re-imagination, and a front-of-house leader whose hyper-intuitive, ferociously planned brand of hospitality extended to providing chauffeurs and sleds for diners who wanted to sledge in Central Park with the help of a ‘Dreamweaver.’ Now, half of that magic formula is gone.
Perhaps it says much about the brand’s caché, defined by the force of personality of its leadership, that it can continue to franchise with that personality so diminished. And while there may be some internal frustration, it is a development that will likely not trouble the vast majority of the hotel restaurant’s guests. Claridge’s, of course, remains publicly defiant that little changes:
“The pre-opening front of house team lead key players for Davies and Brook all remains the same, [and per the email written to Make It Nice staff] Jeffrey Tascarella has been appointed as COO, he has been an integral part of Make It Nice for last decade,” the spokesperson said.
The restaurant’s opening “had already shifted to the autumn,” the spokesperson said. No exact date for opening has been confirmed.