Ever since the news broke earlier in the year, that negotiations had broken down between Gordon Ramsay Holdings & the Maybourne Group, rumours have long been circulating about who would be taking up residence in the Art Deco dining room at Claridges. An early front runner was Rene Redzepi, I suppose based largely on the idea that he could repeat the Emperor’s new clothes trick on a more sustained basis. I was always doubtful of this, and it was reinforced when Noma was toppled from the pinnacle of The 50 Best in April.
It has been quite an open secret that Claridges wanted yet another ‘BIG‘ name to replace the out going Ramsay, who had been in situ for the past twelve years. The CNN website listed the following contenders for the vacancy; from the plausible, to the down right ridiculous:
- Hélène Darroze
- Marcus Wareing
- Angela Hartnett
- René Redzepi
- Tom Aikens
- Mark Sargeant
- Heston Blumenthal
- Marco Pierre White
- Jamie Oliver
- Delia Smith
Funnily enough they didn’t even mention the target singled out by the Claridges management or the eventual new incumbent. Before closing his eponymous restaurant last August, Charlie Trotter had always expressed a desire to open an outlet in London. So could he have been the potential new tenant?
No, sadly not, but the hotel management were looking at a big name chef on the other side of the pond. In fact, ChefHermes.com has been lead to believe that the first choice for the now vacant dining room was Eleven Madison Park’s, Daniel Humm. A Swiss national, who has a global profile with 11EMP, but more importantly for Claridges, a recognisable name for the American Market.
Unfortunately, as much as the hotel wanted Chef Humm, it wasn’t to be. So who would be next on the shortlist?
Currently riding a wave of publicity is a Northern chef, who has had a taste of London with his two year pop up, which closed earlier this year. Simon Rogan brought his brand of cuisine to the capital with Roganic, two years ago, and although departing with it’s chef after only 8months, it was deemed a success. Having now taken on the dining options at The Midland Hotel in Manchester, Rogan seems keen to return to London and the vacant dining room at Claridges, which is clearly a great opportunity.
I like to wish Simon Rogan and his team all the best for their future endeavors.
You can see my review of L’enclume here: L’enclume, Cumbria