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Chef Silvena Rowe leaves Quince to open new concept Ottoman Café

05 March 2013 by
Chef Silvena Rowe leaves Quince to open new concept Ottoman Café

Silvena Rowe has parted company with the May Fair Hotel, home to her first restaurant Quince, to launch a new high-street chain serving Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean food.

Bulgaria-born Rowe, who has written numerous cookbooks and appeared on a number of television programmes, is planning to open the first Ottoman Café in central London in the autumn.

The new business will be "more mainstream" than Quince, serving "small morsels" of food inspired by the flavours of Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

"I have parted company with the May Fair and it's all very amicable. Of course I'm sad to leave Quince, it was my baby, a project I started from scratch, but it's time for me to move on and do something that will lend itself to a bigger market," Rowe said.

The chef admitted that she was "a bit scared" to launch a new project. "I'm not a chef like Gordon Ramsay so I can't guarantee 100% success. I could have stayed in the comfort zone of Quince and the May Fair but there's more out there for me. I learned a lot of lessons from Quince."

Rowe said she also wants to focus on her television career: "I turned a lot of things down in the past two years and if you continually say no, eventually they will stop asking you."

Rowe was born and raised in Bulgaria to a Bulgarian mother and Turkish father, but has lived in London for more than 25 years. Before opening Quince in June 2010, she was the executive chef for the Baltic Restaurant Group and worked as a cookery teacher at Mosimann's Academy of Culinary Excellence, Baker and Spice, and Books for Cooks, all in London.

She has written a number of books, including Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume and Orient Express, and appeared on various TV shows including Saturday Kitchen.

The May Fair Hotel was unavailable for comment.

Book review: Orient Express >>

Silvena Rowe to open Quince at the May Fair Hotel >>

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