Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett has confirmed she would like to run five to eight locations of Café Murano, the brasserie-style sister group to her flagship London venue Murano.
Hartnett confirmed the plans while speaking at the third An Audience with… event, organised by The Caterer and held within the prestigious hospitality wing of Westminster Kingsway College, in association with CCS.
There is currently one Café Murano in London, on St James's Street: a 75-cover brasserie-style operation on the site of what was formerly Pétrus, which opened in autumn 2013. The next 126-cover site is set to open on Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, in June. The chef also confirmed that a third location was in the pipeline for next year.
Hartnett explained that the idea behind the group was to "roll out a little concept, where we could make money", and do something more mid-market, simple, and accessible, than her other ventures.
Hartnett said the dishes at Café Murano would be simple to roll out over a portfolio of sites, as they were not "chef-driven", but "popular, consistent, and sell like the clappers".
"The food is about the flavour and the taste, not trying to be too clever, and people having a great time," she added.
Murano head chef Pip Lacey, saying that she knows Hartnett's style perfectly, in that it is free of gimmicks and focuses on seasonality and simplicity.
She said: "In the past two years, I'd say that Murano is more in the style of food that I want [to cook], and I think with Pip, she has really understood it now. Café Murano and Lime Wood both have that too - it's about doing really good food, keeping it simple, using seasonal produce, and not overcomplicating it. I just want to eat a good plate of tasty food."
Hartnett appeared the The Caterer's third An Audience withâ¦ event, which has previously welcomed chefs Jason Atherton and Philip Howard to share their career experiences and success.
•Watch this space for more tips and insights into Hartnett's life and career from the event - including her work with Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton and Marcus Wareing, and the triumphs and trials of opening a Ramsay restaurant in Dubai.
Angela Hartnett's new restaurant on Pétrus site to be named Cafe Murano >>