So this is the latest in the series of ‘Chef Rumours & Gossip’ posts, where some of the inside info that chefs pass between themselves comes to light & often fruition.
First up is Michelin starred chef, Tom Kitchin. There is a very strong rumour that with the closure of Chop Chop in late September, next door to The Kitchin, that the Scottish chef is looking into expanding sideways on Commercial Quay. The oriental restaurant had been a well liked fixture in Leith for over 4 years, but has now decided to concentrate more on city center locations.
The main obstacle for Kitchin will be planning permission, as the Commercial Quay development has listed building status. But barring that it should be a good move.
UPDATE: This story has been confirmed by The Caterer, less than 24hours after being published on this site: The Caterer story.
What’s going on in East Sussex?
The Curlew restaurant has seen a succession of Head chefs come & go, to the point where past 3 years have seen 3 different head chefs.
The original head chef Neil McCue started in 2009, gathering the Michelin gong in 2011. Departing to go travelling with his partner in 2012, McCue said:
We’re going to Australia for five weeks and I will consider my next move while we’re there before coming home. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve all achieved here at the Curlew but for me it’s time to move on now.
Soon after McCues departure, Andrew Scott was announced as his replacement. Formerly of Mallory Court in Warwickshire, Scott brought his sous chef Nick Bennett with him, Sadly they stayed for a little over a year, before moving on to a new project called Sudbury House & Restaurant 56.
In the same week Scott’s departure was announced, so was his replacement. Tony Parkin comes highly regarded in chef circles & a definite one to watch. Starting in January 2014, Parkin said at the time of his appointment:
I can’t wait to realise everything I’ve trained for, learned and experienced; I feel that this opportunity has come at exactly the right time in my career. I am ready and looking toward 2014 with real focus and enthusiasm.
But again, sadly it wasn’t to last. Parkin is believed to have left The Curlew in late summer, and is now working as a private chef for Lord & Lady Bamford (Owners of JCB & Daylesford Organics).
As for The Curlew? They’ve retained their Michelin star for 2015, but the strong rumour is that there will be a change in direction for the food offering, moving to a more casual steakhouse theme.
On the 3rd of October there was a press release doing the rounds announcing the arrival of Matt Worswick to the Black Swan at Helmsley, after his ill fated tenure at The Warehouse in Southport.
ChefHermes.com hinted that there would be a parting of way inminantly and sure enough on September 20th Worswick confirmed as much via his Twitter account.
Chefhermes.com now understands that Worswick’s arrival at the Black Swan wont be happening either, as there is apprently differences of opinion between the owners & the chef already. Worswick has apparently been spotted having an interview at Bodysgallen Hall in North Wales, this week.
This week has seen Cirrus Inns continue their expansion programme, by completing their purchase of the iconic pub The Crab at Cheiveley, Berkshire.