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World-Famous ‘Pastry Deviant’ Calum Franklin Leaves His London Shrine to Immaculate Pies

The Holborn Dining Room executive chef gained a global following for his idiosyncratic, meticulously crafted British and French crusts

Chef Calum Franklin stands surrounded by pastry paraphernalia, scoring pastry before baking
Chef Calum Franklin in his pie room in Holborn.
John Carey

World-famous (self-professed) “pastry deviant” Calum Franklin is leaving Holborn Dining Room after nearly nine years. In that near-decade, he forged a reputation for excellence in the world of savoury pies and pastry, with a focus on British and French tradition and masterfully intricate designs — so much so that he, together with head pie maker Nokx Majozi, converted the adjacent former deli into a dedicated Pie Room in 2017.

While Holborn Dining Room is a decent modern British restaurant with a touch of luxury in its own right, it’s Franklin and his team’s pies, whether classically British or veering into the realm of charcuterie with pâtê-en-croûte, that have become the stars of the show and, to an extent, outgrown the reputation of the restaurant itself.

Built on research as meticulous and fine-grained as the artworks that adorn his creations, Franklin’s star rose after an initial surge powered by Instagram and word-of-mouth. He went on to publish a book, The Pie Room, in 2020.

He said:

I’ll always be proud of what we have achieved at the restaurant, as a team I think we gave it a real identity, celebrated British culinary history and built a pretty cool pie room.None of this would have been possible without the strength, belief and commitment of everyone around me, past and present, chefs, waiters, kitchen porters and so many more... It’s a huge group of talented, kind and dedicated people who made it the success that it is now and I thank you all for that, you will always inspire me and of course the biggest thanks to all of the guests who’ve come and I’ve got to know over the years.

More soon on what’s next.