Chef Peter Robinson replaces Matthew Harris at Bibendum

16 April 2015 by
Chef Peter Robinson replaces Matthew Harris at Bibendum

Bibendum restaurant in London's South Kensington has appointed Peter Robinson has its new head chef, replacing Matthew Harris, who has left after 20 years.

Harris left the head chef role in February this year, having celebrated his 20th anniversary at Bibendum in 2014.

Robinson, who has been installed in the role this month, was previously head chef at Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes in Cornwall.

He also owns the Old Butchers in Stow on the Wold, near Cheltenham, which his wife Louise continues to run.

Bibendum is now set to undergo a redesign similar to that of the ground floor oyster bar which took place last year, and will be overseen by founding partner Sir Terence Conran.

Meanwhile, the new menu has been devised by Peter and founding chef Simon Hopkinson, offering a selection of Bibendum classics such as fish soup with rouille and steak tartare along with new creations.

Typical options on the daily changing menu will include: salad of green beans with foie gras; Bath chap with chicory, radish and capers; monk's beard with Bottarga olive oil and lemon; tranche of turbot with béarnaise sauce; navarin of lamb ‘printanière'; and braised duck leg with peas, bacon and turnips.

On Sunday there will be a prix fixe menu offering for both lunch and dinner for £33.50 for three.

The wine list will be revamped by wine columnist Matthew Jukes, with the list featuring 800 bins of New and Old World wines. The restaurant will also use a Coravin system to allow wines to be served by the glass.

Among the changes expected during the refurbishment of the first floor dining room will be new design details such as a slate-coloured carpet and wood-framed, Scottish leather chairs mirroring the colour scheme of the windows. The only tan leather chair will be reserved for Sir Terence Conran at his favourite corner table and will be created from aniline leather.

Curved and mirrored waiter stations, previously used in 1987, will also be restored and return to the restaurant, while an exhibition of Michelin advertising posters featuring Monsieur Bibendum, will be displayed to mark the re-launch.

Speaking about his decision to employ Robinson, Sir Terence Conran said: "I celebrated my 70th birthday at the Hotel Tresanton, and after the meal, I asked to see the head chef. It was Peter. I gave him my business card and said: ‘Call me when you open your own place'. Thirteen years later, here we are. Peter is an exceptional chef, and his cooking embodies all that Bibendum stands for."

Meanwhile, speaking about his departure, Harris said: "Having worked at Bibendum for 27 years, 20 of them as head chef, it is not without much thought and deliberation that I have decided it is now time to move on and take on a new challenge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow directors, the management team and all the staff in both the kitchen and front of house for their valued support over the years and the many fond memories that my family and I will cherish. I wish Bibendum the very best for the future."

Bibendum restaurant manager Karim Miftah dies >>

Sir Terence Conran to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Hotelympia >>

Minute on the clock - Matthew Harris, head chef, Bibendum >>

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