Chef Anthea Stephenson has left Polpetto in London’s Soho after just two months at the relaunched restaurant.
Stephenson joined the kitchen as head chef of the Russell Norman and Richard Beatty owned restaurant in October, launching a new menu alongside a refurbishment of the interior and new shopfront.
The news follows the departure of Polpo managing director Scott Macdonald around a month ago. He had been at the business for 18 months and was in the process of reshaping the business having sold sites in Exeter, Bristol and the Ape and Bird Site in London’s Cambridge Circus.
Relaunching the Polpetto site in November, Russell Norman said: “Anthea has the perfect pedigree for a restaurant like this and a group like ours. She has worked for a long time at the River Cafe, where they put simplicity above everything else.
“When I sat down with her for the first time she spoke for just a few minutes and I thought I was listening to myself. She used the words simplicity, authenticity, quality of ingredients, seasonality. She said classics. And with every one of those bingo card expressions my eyes lit up. We hired Anthea very soon after that.”
The group has now confirmed Stephenson’s departure but refused to make any further comment.
The Polpo group includes sites in Covent Garden, Soho, Farringdon, Notting Hill, Chelsea and Brighton, as well as a Spuntino in Soho and the newly reopened Polpetto, also in Soho.
Polpetto received a Bib Gourmand for the fifth year running in the recently published 2019 Michelin Guide.