Chef Mini Patel is to take on a new role as chef-patron of D&D London’s Blueprint Café in Shad Thames.
Patel departed from the 2016 Menu of the Year Catey-winning Pointer restaurant in Brill, Buckinghamshire in April last year, having been head chef for two-and-a-half years.
Speaking to The Caterer, Patel explained that he would like to “move away from the conventional format of a menu” and will offer small plates and snacks instead of the classic starter, main course and dessert format.
He said: “I want to create somewhere that people come in for lunch one day, dinner the next, and snacks on the weekend – not just a once a week or month. I’m aiming to make it informal as possible and yet at the same time ensure that the quality is as good as anywhere else in London.”
The cuisine at the 26-year-old cafe will be British, ranging from traditional dishes to modern interpretations. “There’s not a set of rules about what a café should serve so it’s about carving your own niche and creating what I think epitomises a modern-day café in London,” Patel said. “It’s not supposed to be an opulent five-star dining room, it’s a café which has beautiful views over the Thames.”
April’s menu will include dishes like Carlingford rock oyster, jalapeño, sour apple and cucumber; baked hispi cabbage, mustard, cheddar and crispy Cumbrian ham; Cornish lamb pie with crispy lamb nuggets, wild garlic pesto and lamb roasting juices; burnt cream with rhubarb ‘Jammie Dodger’ biscuit.
The front of the restaurant will be “spruced up” to ensure the entrance is visible and appealing to coax guests up to the second-floor restaurant, followed by a “light refresh” of the interiors.
Patel added: “I need to ensure that everything feels right. This is the kind of challenge that I want. When you’ve been a head chef for so many years, you’re eager to go to the next step and gain more freedom.”
Jean-Baptiste Requien, operations director of D&D, said: “This is a true milestone in Blueprint’s history – a favourite on the London landscape for nearly three decades, we believe Mini’s wealth of experience and playful, contemporary British menu can only drive Blueprint forward to new heights.”
Patel, who appeared on Great British Menu in 2015 and 2016, has previous experience at the Cotswold House hotel in Chipping Campden, Oxfordshire; Claridge’s and the Connaught in London; and Rockpool restaurant in Sydney.