London-based chef Jason Atherton, who announced last month that he would be quitting L'Anis restaurant in Kensington, is understood to be set to head the kitchen at the new restaurant planned by Gordon Ramsay in Dubai.
Contracts on the new restaurant were expected to be signed this week. It is planned to open in October (Caterer, 10 May, page 4). Some of Atherton's chefs at L'Anis are understood to be moving to Dubai to work with him.
It also became clear this week that L'Anis was to close on 10 July. All the staff will be made redundant on that day. L'Anis has six chefs including Atherton, and approximately eight front of house staff.
It will be the second restaurant to close this year in Claudio Pulze and Raj Sharma's five-strong London-based Cuisine Collection group.
Atherton said: "Nothing is signed and I cannot say what I am going to do. If my chefs want to come with me, they will hand in their notices. I have not encouraged my staff to leave."
But a letter sent to the staff by Lori Kelly, a director of the restaurant, said that some of the chefs would be joining Atherton.
It read: "Many of the staff intend to follow Jason to his new venture/employment. In light of Jason's resignation and the continual trading losses, the directors have decided that it is not commercially justifiable to continue to trade."
A Cuisine Collection spokesman was unable to confirm speculation that L'Anis might reopen as an Indian or Italian restaurant.
Two weeks ago, Pulze and Sharma reopened their former Spanish-style El Rincón restaurant in Fulham Road, as an Indian restaurant called Zaika Bazaar.
by Louise Bozec firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 21-27 June 2001