The Tramshed building in Shoreditch gets a new lease of life from a starry food and events space run by Street Feast founder Dominic-Cools Lartigue. The Tramshed Project, which will partner with media and representation platform Black Book on a series of events next month, launches with renowned chefs Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Sankofa; James Cochran of 12:51; and Andrew Clarke of St. Leonards, creating an interdisciplinary food and working space that Cools-Lartigue will hope is built to outlast the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. It opens on 9 October.
Clarke and collaborator Daniel Watkins’ opening menu features grilled shishito peppers with smoked cod’s roe — bingo players, mark those cards — a bone marrow smash burger; a seed and spelt risotto with ceps; and a mushroom and celeriac shawarma flatbread.
The dramatic, high-ceilinged hall that formerly hosted Mark Hix’s Tramshed restaurant — and Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde-pickled cow — is now a bookable, coronavirus-screen-separated dining and working space, alleviating some of the limitations on these kinds of spaces that have seen many of London’s food halls entirely unable to reopen. The first events at the space won’t actually see any guests at all, with Black Book’s weekly Black History Months through October hosting Zoom cook-alongs in the kitchens. It starts with Joe Faulkner’s Salone Krio Kanteen, from 6p.m. to 7p.m. on Thursday 6 October. Cools-Lartigue’s own programming includes Black Flamingo, a Friday night “jazz and dinner club” that intends to become a hub for Black culture and takes inspiration from the Flamingo magazine that ran from 1961 — 1965, and a weekend of events for Black History Month on 23 — 25 October.
Opening an events and food space during a pandemic in the stead of a food and events space that did not survive the same pandemic has risk attached. With barriers, screens, capacity limits, and the new 10p.m. curfew, the collaborative vibe that Cools-Lartigue envisions for the space is necessarily tempered. But he’s upbeat about what the project can bring to the city: “The variety and diversity of our offering excites me, with Zoe, Andrew and James, that mix feels like the London I know and love.”