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MasterChef pop-up project leaves BaxterStorey £400,000 light

23 February 2015 by
MasterChef pop-up project leaves BaxterStorey £400,000 light

Foodservice firm BaxterStorey is owed nearly £400,000 following the collapse of a company that ran a pop-up restaurant designed to host past winners of TV series MasterChef.

Housed on the 12th floor of the Blue Fin Building in Southwark, the MasterChef restaurant, operated by Swiftsure Projects LLP, ran for five weeks last September and October and featured a line-up of former contestants and winners of the BBC series, which regularly attracts around six million viewers.

Despite the fact that the event was reported to have sold out within four days, Swiftsure entered liquidation at the end of January 2015.

BaxterStorey is the biggest of a string of 50 creditors left out of pocket following the company's collapse, collectively owed a total of £823,742.52.

Chasing a total of £396,321.86, the caterer is understood to have provided the venue, front of house and kitchen staff, and procured the food and drink served in the restaurant.

Businesses run by Michelin-starred chefs Simon Rogan, Sat Bains and Gordon Ramsay were also left out of pocket by Swiftsure - £3,048 for a private dinner, £2,880 for an event with MasterChef finalist Adam Handling and £347, believed to be for a personal appearance, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Statement of Company's Affairs, filed at Companies House, revealed that suppliers including Majestic Wine and Margolis Silver are down £12,067 and £1,920 each, while Compass Group's executive dining business, Restaurant Associates is due £303.50. HMRC is owed £17,436.

Swiftsure, billed as an events and publishing company, was run by former journalist Simon Davis, who co-founded the London Restaurant Festival with Fay Maschler in 2009. However, the Evening Standard critic resigned from the business in 2013 to concentrate on new rival venture, London Eats Out.

The company's MasterChef pop-up was a 130-cover space was designed by Russell Sage Studios, the restaurant designer responsible for Bruno Loubet's Grain Store, Jason Atherton's Social Eating House and Petrus for Gordon Ramsay.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, the restaurant offered four services a day: brunch (weekends only); three-course lunch; three-course supper; and five-course tasting menu. Tickets were bought in advance, costing £20 to £65 a head.

Six former MasterChef winners, including Ping Coombes (2014), Dhruv Baker (2010), and Mat Follas (2009) were signed up to cook alongside popular series finalists and the BaxterStorey team.

A BaxterStorey spokesperson said: "We are naturally very disappointed with this outcome given the effort put in by our teams to make the event such a success."

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