Chef Allan Pickett and restaurateur Andre Blais to open London restaurant
Allan Pickett, head chef of D&D London's Plateau restaurant, and Canadian-born restaurateur Andre Blais are to launch a restaurant together in London in early 2015.
Blais, the founder of the five-strong authentic American barbecue restaurant group Bodean's, and Pickett have secured a site in Fitzrovia. The restaurant will be called Piquet.
Pickett will assume the role of chef-patron and will run the restaurant on a day-to-day basis with a small team of chefs and front of house staff. Blais will support Pickett, but will not be operationally hands on. The number of covers has not yet been confirmed.
The head chef of D&D London's Canary Wharf restaurant said he will leave his position at Plateau at the beginning of October. He told The Caterer: "I've had an amazing four years at Plateau with so many positives and nothing but support from David [Loewi] and Des [Gunewardena]. We have taken Plateau to a new level and I'm leaving knowing it's in great hands for the future."
Pickett said the food at Piquet will be French inspired and will use classical cooking techniques. The menu will include a casserole of cod cheeks and baby squid, haricots blanc, tomato fondue, herb oil and onion farcie, Swiss chard, burnt onions, persillade of chanterelles, for example
Desserts will feature dishes such as blood orange jelly, Earl grey tea granite, orange blossom honey madeleines.
Pickett said he was excited to be working with Blais and said the restaurateur had become a great friend and mentor in recent months. "As a chef, to own and run your own restaurant in London is a dream come true. I know it's going to be very hard work and a lot of sleepless nights but I just want to cook great food served in a relaxed atmosphere and be able to evolve and find my own cooking style again."
Pickett joined D&D London in June 2010 from the Aviator hotel in Farnborough. His career has included periods at Marco Pierre White's Michelin-starred L'Escargot, and Aurora, the fine-dining restaurant at the Great Eastern Hotel.
He then moved to Orrery before joining Chris and Jeff Galvin at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street as head chef. He went to work for inspirational hotelier Ken McCulloch at the Aviator in 2008 and joined Plateau two years later.