Former Roux Scholarship and National Chef of the Year winner Frederick Forster will take the helm at the refurbished Le Pont de la Tour restaurant when it reopens in September.
The restaurant, operated by D&D London, closed on 2 August for a makeover and will reopen late next month.
Forster, who joins from the Boundary restaurant and rooftop in Shoreditch, will create menus for the bar and restaurant with Francophiles in mind. Russell Sage Studio is overseeing the redesign.
He is one of only four chefs to have won both the Roux Scholarship and the National Chef of the Year, the latter being a title he took in 2012.
Forster's CV includes stints at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Gordon Ramsay's Aubergine, Le Gavroche and the Ritz, as well as the three-Michelin-starred La Côte d'Or under the late Bernard Loiseau, the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, and Le Royal Mirage hotel in Dubai.
His dishes at Le Pont de la Tour are expected to be clean, light and vibrant, highlighting the freshness and provenance of British produce. Typical starters will include roasted Orkney scallops with violet artichokes, and golden beetroot, turnip and wild wood sorrel with sweet pears and cobnuts. Mains will include a lightly poached turbot dish with leeks and cauliflower, together with a crab sauce.
The refurbished Le Pont de la Tour will also feature a new bar for those who prefer something less formal, offering a range of hors d'oeuvres and sharing plates, including roasted quail with Asian flavours of spring onion, chilli and lime, and Pan-Bagnat, a speciality sandwich from the Nice region, served with vegetables and warm goats' cheese. The signature bar cocktails will celebrate the best of France, with a section inspired by ProvenÁ§al flavours, and the best of London. The 'Shad Thames' concoctions will be infused with spices based on those stored in the Butler's Wharf warehouses in Victorian times, including vanilla, ginger and coriander. The new bar will also play host to a programme of live music, from Thursday to Saturday.
Russell Sage Studio's new interiors promise a "darker, sleeker and more vivid" look. Inspired by the French cruise liner SS Normandie, the décor will feature a nautical element throughout. Erté wallpaper and a gold-patterned ceiling will evoke roaring 1920s glamour, further emphasised by art deco upholstery and furniture.
D&D London CEO, Des Gunewardena, said: "A word like iconic can be over-used, but Le Pont de la Tour has truly been an iconic restaurant and has played a huge role in the London dining scene for over two decades. What we are doing now is re-inventing the space to bring it bang up-to-date with a talented new chef and a fresh approach to the wine and the bar, while staying true to Le Pont de la Tour's heritage. When you walk through the door when we re-open in September, the first thing you will notice is Le Pont de la Tour's very new look - expect a darker, stylish design but which again pays homage to the restaurant's design history and its fantastic riverside location".
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