Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens has teamed up with a new investor, the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group, and will relaunch his flagship restaurant later this year.
The Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group, which owns 12 brands including 24 restaurants, franchises and a hotel, has become an investment and strategic partner to Aikens to both oversee his existing restaurants and further grow the business.
The move comes after Aikens lost control of his business in 2008 when his company went into a pre-pack administration and was bought by businessman Peter Dubens. He said that while he was "very grateful" to Dubens, he now wants to take the company in a different direction.
Aikens will close his eponymous Michelin-starred flagship restaurant in Chelsea for up to three months in June and reopen it in September following an extensive refurbishment with a more contemporary look and more informal menu and service approach.
Additionally as part of his new partnership with the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group the chef will also be looking to expand the Tom's Kitchen brand, which currently has one outlet in Chelsea and another at Somerset House where Aikens also runs Tom's Deli, Tom's Terrace and Tom's Events.
The Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group is the leading restaurant and entertainment group in Turkey. It is backed by Trilantic Capital Partners, a prominent private equity firm focused on middle market investments in North America and Europe.
Established in 1993 the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group's first restaurant was Da Mario, which opened in 1993 and was the first Italian restaurant in Istanbul. Its other sites include Zuma Istanbul, the sister site to the London restaurant, Angelique, A'jia, Gina, Mama, Vogue Restaurant & Bar, Wan-na and Kitchenette.
Aikens began his career at the Mirabelle restaurant in Eastbourne before joining the Michelin-starred Cavaliers restaurant in Battersea, London, as a commis chef. He moved to London's Capital hotel under Michelin-starred head chef Phillip Britten and was working as chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann's La Tante Claire in London when the restaurant won its third Michelin star.
In 1993 Tom Aikens became sous chef at Pied à Terre and then returned to run the restaurant in 1996, where he held on to the two Michelin stars earned by his predecessor, Richard Neat.
He opened the restaurant Tom Aikens in London's Elystan Street in April 2003 in partnership with his then wife, Laura.
<span class="Á"noindexÁ"">By Kerstin Kuhn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kuhn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs