Chef-restaurateur Mark Sargeant is to part company with Morden & Lea, the Soho brasserie he set up last June. The split is expected to end affably next month.
Divided across two floors, Sargeant launched the Wardour Street venture, which is named after cartographers Robert Morden and Philip Lea, with a dual offering – a brasserie-style menu upstairs and a more relaxed sharing menu downstairs. Daniel Mertl, formerly of Chez Bruce, the Savoy and Le Gavroche, will continue in his role as head chef.
Sargeant, who co-owns Rocksalt and the Smokehouse in Folkestone and the Duke William in Ickham, both in Kent, told The Caterer: “After an amicable agreement, I have decided to part ways with Morden & Lea, as from February. I feel that my involvement with the restaurant has run its course and think that Dan Mertl, the head chef I appointed, should be able to shine for himself in the kitchen.
“He is a talented young chef who has proved at Morden & Lea that he can serve exceptionally good quality food and the kitchen is now in safe hands.
“I wish them luck for the future and I am now keen to focus on the new and exciting projects I have lined up this year.”
Earlier this week, Sargeant, who was the consultant chef at the 2015 Catey Awards, announced that he is to work with foodservice suppliers Brakes to develop its range and enhance its appeal to chefs.
Sargeant also recently moved from his consultancy role as a chef-mentor at ISS Food and Hospitality to a similar role at WSH, the parent company of BaxterStorey, Caterlink and Holroyd Howe.
The Kent-born chef also operates Plum + Spilt Milk, the 90-seat, first-floor restaurant at the Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross.