Adam Simmonds seeks £1.1m investment for London restaurant venture
Chef Adam Simmonds is seeking £1.1m investment to open his own high end restaurant in London called Simmonds.
The former Danesfield House chef (pictured), alongside his Marlow Restaurants Company Limited business partners Chris Rose and Shaun Wootton, is using peer-to-peer funding service Karadoo to help raise the capital for the venture.
Potential investors, who must put up a minimum subscription of £10,000 each, have been invited to a special Q&A meeting next month in response to considerable interest in the venture that has already been shown.
According to Great British Menu 2014 finalist's website, the target money return after four years is £2.30 per £1 invested.
"Around 60 people have already expressed an interest in the prospectus," Simmonds told The Caterer. "There are people already signed up and I've got two possible big investors that I just need to get over the line. If I can secure these two, and hopefully that will be done, one way or the other, next week, that'll could give us half of what we're looking for, if not more. Then I can start looking at sites."
He said that the search for a site is currently "tentative", with the focus on raising the necessary capital; however locations under consideration include Mayfair, Soho and Shoreditch. The restaurant, which is expected to accommodate around 60 covers, will be "minimal and clean".
"It's going to be very informal and relaxed, but it depends a bit on where it is. If I open in Shoreditch, which is ideally where I'd like it to be, I'll tailor our plans to it," he added. "There's going to be no pomp and ceremony.
"At the moment I'm looking to do two or three tasting menus and a lunch menu. But that could change depending on where we end up and the type of clientele base."
A sample eight-course tasting menu on his website includes: grilled langoustine, mackerel, cod crumbs; parsley, veal head, red prawns; smoked bone marrow; fruit gravel; and lemon, fennel, olive oil.
Simmonds said: "We've been quite reserved with our business plan, as far as the figures are concerned. I'm super excited and I'd like to be done by October if I'm honest, but the process has already taken longer than I anticipated.
"The prospectus took a lot longer than we anticipated because we went through it with a fine tooth comb and turned it upside down from what we were originally going to do. But I'd rather do it properly and right than do it half-cocked and screw it up. You only get one bite at this."
Commenting on his decision to open his own restaurant, Simmonds, who has previously worked under Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White, said: "I'm not one of those guys that have been in the industry five minutes and decided to open a restaurant; I've been doing it 25 years.
"You hit a stage in your career when you'd like to do your own thing. It's now or never. You've got to put your balls on the line some time and stand up and be counted."
Simmonds is currently overseeing the menu at Kensington restaurant Pavilion, which opened last year. He left his role as executive chef of Danesfield House in October 2013. He was promoted to that role in January 2010 when Restaurant Adam Simmonds was created, but had joined the four-star, four AA-rosette hotel in February 2007.
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