Iconic chef Pierre Koffmann has revealed full details of his forthcoming restaurant at London's Berkeley hotel.
The former chef-patron of the three-Michelin-starred La Tante Claire will open Koffmann's, which is located in the site previously occupied by Gordon Ramsay's Boxwood Café, on 28 June.
He will oversee the kitchen brigade of 24 chefs together with head chef Tim Payne, who joins from MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace's London restaurant Wallace & Co where he was executive chef. Previously Payne, who worked with Koffmann at La Tante Claire in the late 1990s, spent three years as head chef at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green and was executive chef for Marco Pierre White's restaurants for seven years.
Front of house at the 120-seat Koffmann's will be managed by Eric Garnier, the former co-owner of French restaurant Racine. He will oversee a team of 45 staff and there will be a focus on highlighting the theatre of carving and confident performance à la table with sharing dishes including roast chicken and beef Wellington.
Meanwhile, the restaurant's interiors will comprise banquette and table seating with a green and brown colour scheme, a window to the kitchen, central open wine cellar and a private dining room seating up to 16.
The food at Koffmann's, which marks a return to the Berkeley for the French chef who operated La Tante Claire at the hotel from 1998 until its closure in 2002, will be a move away from the haute cuisine he is so well known for. aThe menu will be more relaxed and informal inspired by the country cooking of his home region of Gascony in the south west of France.
It will offer hearty, robust, seasonal dishes such as fish soup; snails; braised beef cheek; calf's head; and crispy pork belly with braised red cabbage, with the average spend around £35 for three courses. Many of Koffmann's signature favourites, such as scallops with squid ink, braised pig's trotter with morels, and pistachio soufflé will also be offered.
Koffmann told Caterersearch the new restaurant would offer the kind of food he likes to eat. "This is nothing to do with La Tante Claire or Michelin style food," he said.
"We're using cheaper ingredients and it's much more relaxed. The food will be simple but the taste will still be there. I only know one way to cook."
By Kerstin Kühn
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