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Alan Bird departs Bird of Smithfield

10 November 2016 by
Alan Bird departs Bird of Smithfield

Chef Alan Bird has left Bird of Smithfield, the London restaurant that shares his name to pursue new projects.

The news emerged as Bird of Smithfield announced the appointment of Tommy Boland as head chef.

Bird, who was never a majority shareholder in the restaurant despite its name, launched Bird of Smithfield in August 2013.

At the time, the restaurant was billed as the first solo venture from the former Ivy chef and it is set over five floors of a Georgian townhouse with a restaurant, lounge bar, a basement cocktail bar, private dining room and a roof terrace overlooking the towers of the old Smithfield market.

According to the latest annual return for Bird of Smithfield Ltd, filed in Companies House in August 2015, Alan Bird held a 23.5% shareholding in the restaurant, while fellow directors Steve Collins and Georgia Nicoli held the rest between them.

Nicoli confirmed to The Caterer had the business has parted ways with Bird but it is not known if he has since sold his share.

A statement from Nicoli said: "We agreed with Alan that the arrangements between us should be subject to confidentiality. Consequently, neither of us are able to comment or describe the commercial arrangements agreed between us, including the treatment of his shareholding."

Bird told The Caterer: "I left Bird of Smithfield to pursue some new projects. I wish them the best of luck for the future."

Bird started his career in 1981 at West Lodge Park hotel in Cockfosters, Hertfordshire before moving on the Goring in London and then the two-Michelin-starred Simply Nico in London where he was promoted to sous chef.

After a year as personal chef to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bird joined the Ivy in 1991 first as sous chef, before becoming head chef in 1998 and then executive chef in 2004. He left in 2010 and worked in consultancy prior to launching Bird of Smithfield.

Boland, his successor at Bird of Smithfield has experience in Michelin-starred kitchens such as the Square in Mayfair, while it was headed up by Phil Howard, the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, and Le Cinq Restaurant at Four Seasons George V Hotel, Paris.

He will combine British cuisine with French techniques, bringing new ideas to the menu offering.

Dishes will include Cornish mackerel, oyster, radish, pickled cucumber, ice lettuce; roasted turbot, celeriac purée, winter greens, charred potatoes, hazelnut and black truffle pesto; pork chop and glazed cheek, creamed potato, charred onion, roasted carrots, pancetta, roasting juices; and roasted pear, honey, frozen white chocolate, almond financier.

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