Chef Nuno Mendes has slammed critics of Chiltern Firehouse, claiming they "wanted" to hate the Marylebone restaurant.
The venue, by hotelier André Balazs, opened last year to mixed reviews, but quickly became a firm favourite for celebrities, including David Beckham, Rita Ora, Cara Delevigne and even former US president Bill Clinton.
Mendes, who picked up a Michelin star for his last restaurant, Viajante, was interviewed by ES magazine.
He said: "It seems like there are people who had an agenda to come in and knock us or to say mean things … It was like, why do you want to hate us? But, whatever."
His comments come after Fernando Peire, star of Channel 4's short-lived series the Restaurant Inspector and director of the recently re-opened celeb haunt the Ivy, said that Chiltern Firehouse could "never in a million years" be like his Caprice Holdings-owned restaurant.
He told the Evening Standard: "It hasn't got the right location. You can't go to the Chiltern Firehouse for an after-theatre dinner. The Chiltern Firehouse has had a very glitzy launch, but that's it."
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