Former Chiltern Firehouse restaurant general manager Ben Hesketh has been appointed to run Nordic restaurant Aquavit.
With experience in managing significant restaurant launches including the openings of Massimo at the Corinthia hotel London, London's Coya and Chiltern Firehouse, Hesketh has been made general manager to oversee the building and development of the team at the restaurant located in London's St James's Market redevelopment.
He has been lured back into the world of fine dining having spent a year as a general manager for the Metropolitan Pub Company, based at the Mitre in Holland Park.
Hesketh will be working alongside Emma Bengtsson, executive head chef at the two-Michelin-starred Aquavit New York, and head chef Henrik Ritzen who will be running the kitchen on a day to day basis.
The restaurant will take inspiration from its New York original, but with a more relaxed approach to deliver an authentic yet contemporary take on Nordic dining. Dishes are expected to include butter-poached cod with fennel aioli and salt-baked celeriac root; and seared duck breast with pickled quince and buckwheat porridge, as well as classic Nordic choices such as toast skagern.
The concept has been brought to the UK by Aquavit London chief executive Philip Hamilton. He said: "Since living in London I have been struck by how much Britain has embraced Nordic culture, and with the opening of Aquavit I am excited to be part of the creation of a place where Londoners and Scandinavians alike can come together to enjoy the very best of this region."
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