Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar today opens his second restaurant Vatika located at Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire.
Kochhar, who was one of the first Indian chefs to gain a Michelin star, opened his first restaurant Benares on London's Berkeley Square in 2003. He gained wider public fame after appearing on the BBC's Great British Menu.
Vatika, which means "orchard" in Hindi and Sanskrit, is a 45-cover restaurant overlooking the vineyards at Wickham comprising a main dining room and surrounding terraces.
The restaurant offers a modern British menu with an Indian twist, with dishes including tamarind poached monk cheeks with steamed raita and iced cucumber; and charred basil chicken with stewed corn and pickled avocado.
Kochhar is overseeing the kitchen along with head chef Jitin Joshi, while restaurant manager Bernine Van Schoor is in charge of front of house and sommelier Costanzo Scala is overseeing the wine list.
Kochhar told Caterersearch he had been looking to open another restaurant for a number of years. "London was always an option, but when the owners of Wickham Vineyard approached me to open here it was too good an opportunity to miss," he said.
"Seasonality has always been important to me and Vatika will give me the opportunity of really focusing on some great seasonal and local Hampshire ingredients."
Read A Minute on the Clock interview with Atul Kochhar in next week's issue of Caterer (7 August 2008).
By Kerstin Kühn
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