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Minute on the Clock – Allan Pickett

23 December 2011 by
Minute on the Clock – Allan Pickett

D&D's Canary Wharf restaurant Plateau has been given its first redesign since it opened eight years ago. Head chef Allan Pickett told Janie Stamford all about it

What was the reason behind the refurbishment of the bar & grill? To stay in line with the competition that's coming into Canary Wharf. It's the first major facelift since Plateau opened eight years ago and it's nice to be a part of it. No structural work has been done, but Polly Dickens [formerly the Conran Shop creative director] is behind the redesign, which has given the space more warmth.

What changes have been made? Polly has introduced a strong colour palette to the bar and grill, involving reds and purples and a combination of warm woods to complement the classic design features already in place.

Tell me about the collaboration with Artisan Fine Art. Having worked at the Great Eastern, which had really good links with art, I always wondered whether it would be possible to have art at Plateau that is changed every few months. We got in touch with the local art dealers who came up with a plan to install art in the restaurant that customers can buy, and refresh it every three months. The first artist to be showcased is Bob Dylan and they've got some other fairly famous artists scheduled in.

Has the menu changed to reflect the new look? We're going through the menus for both sides of the restaurant but for me it's more important for the grill, because of the way dining has changed in the last two years. Places like Brawn and the Riding House Café have more snack-like dishes and because of that, and the fact we get quite a lot of drinkers in the evening, I wanted to give them more lighter options.

Are small plates good for profit margin? They are but we're also trying to add value. I'd rather sell more at a lower margin and have people walk away feeling like they've had value for money.

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