Im the fast paced world of chefs with a profile, Anthony Demetre is often one of the ones that slips under the radar. Yes, him & his front of house partner, Will Smith (no, not the fresh prince of Bel-air), have slowly gone about their business. First there was Arbutus, then Wild Honey and in 2010 they opened Les Deux Salons, their version of a Parisian brassiere.
In early 2013, the award winning team set up the restaurant consultancy ‘ADWS Consulting‘. The guess would be that this is where the Auberge du Lac job came from.
Anthony Demetre joined Brocket Hall, in Hertfordshire, as culinary consultant in October 2013 on a 6month rolling contract. Bringing with him Marcus McGuinness, from the 2Michelin star Hibiscus, as head chef. Part of the deal was to include the re-launch of London’s Capital club, which is where Demetre would be focusing the majority of his attention.
But, it seems that there was an under-lying problem, and not for the first time with the owners of Brocket Hall and its related companies; cashflow & money.
Whilst Demetre made it very clear that his departure in March was all very amicable, the same couldn’t be said for former Michelin starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli. He issued a writ in 2005 for ‘non-payment of fees’, a move Andrew Hepburn, director and general manager at the time, described as:
Now it seems that Brocket Hall, & its Hong Kong based owners are going down the same road again. Here is a screenshot of the full conversation on Twitter, between Allison Abernethy & James Moore, finance director at Brocket Hall, and you can make up your own mind:
Another outlet for Anthony Demetre & Will Smith
With the Brocket Hall chapter closed, Demetre & Smith are now looking forward and expanding their own empire once again. ChefHermes.com can reveal that the award winning duo are about to exchange contracts for their first pub. Yes, you lucky people of Chiswick, you’ll be getting the excellent value for money & high standards that you’ve come to expect from Demetre & Smith.
On top of this, Demetre has installed Barry Tonks as a replacement for the departing Colin Layfield. Tonks was initially pigeon holed for the kitchen at the Capital club, but after Demetre decided not to proceed any further with the project it seemed a good use of a solid chef.
There are also rumours of yet another French based brasserie / bistro, but this appears to be some way off yet.
As ever with these types of post, I’d like to wish everybody all the best for the future in their chosen projects.