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Neat resurfaces in Marrakech with new hotel and restaurant

14 July 2004
Neat resurfaces in Marrakech with new hotel and restaurant

Richard Neat, the Michelin-starred chef who closed his London and Cannes restaurants abruptly in 2002, has resurfaced with a new restaurant with rooms in Marrakech, Morocco.

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Richard and Sophie Neat
British-born Neat launched Casa Lalla in June with his French wife, Sophie. The business is based in a traditional eight-roomed riad, centred on an open courtyard with hammam (spa) and covered roof terrace. Neat said the style of operation was relaxed and very different from a conventional hotel. "I'm doing the things I really enjoy, which are creating dishes and meeting people," he said. The restaurant can seat only 12, a number which Neat has no desire to increase. He produces a d‚gustation menu for guests, which comprises seven courses plus cheese. The menu varies from day to day, but typically contains three Moroccan dishes and a number of more traditional French offerings. The chef also revealed that his Michelin-starred restaurant in Cannes had struggled after opening in spring 1999 due to victimisation from the landlord, who wanted Neat to quit so he could sell the seven-storey block. Neat set up his restaurant in London's Oxo Tower to prop up his faltering French business, but despite critical plaudits and strong initial sales, he called it a day when the site began to underperform. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 15 July 2004*
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