Francesco Mazzei has quit as head chef of London restaurant St Alban to open his own business in the capital's Broadgate area, Caterer can reveal.
The restaurant will be called L'Anima ("soul" in Italian) and is expected to launch in January.
It will comprise a 120-seat restaurant, a bar with room for about 40 seats and a 12-seat private dining room. Mazzei, who is anticipating an average spend per head of £30, said that more than £1m was being spent on kitting out the new-build site.
His backer is understood to be a City developer who also owns the freehold on the building, although Mazzei declined to reveal his partner's name.
Mazzei, who has appointed Luca Tarraneo head chef and Patrick Oberto restaurant manager, said: "Like every chef, having my own restaurant has always been a dream and it was too good an opportunity to miss."
He added that he was still on good terms with St Alban owners Chris Corbin and Jeremy King.
By Joanna Wood
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