Cornwall-based, two-Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw is set to come to London, with the opening of a Seafood & Grill at the Capital hotel in October. He speaks to Kerstin Kühn
How did the relationship with the Capital hotel come about?
David Levin came to Cornwall and ate with us and we got chatting. He really loved what we were doing and felt that there was a space for a seafood restaurant in London. I agree and think that there is a big gap in the market for a simple seafood grill.
Why not a fine-dining venture like your eponymous restaurant in Cornwall?
The feedback we've had from our diners is that fine dining is not really what customers want any more. Also, with a fine-dining restaurant you have to be in your kitchen 100%, which I won't be. I'll be in London about one or two days a week. Since the fine-dining restaurant in Cornwall only does dinner five times a week, I have that flexibility.
Tell us about Pete Biggs, the head chef who will oversee the kitchen at the Capital hotel.
Pete has worked with me for 10 years. He has been in charge of the Seafood & Grill in Rock since it opened and it is as much his as it is mine. He has created a restaurant that is now very successful and is ready to move on and is really excited about coming to London.
What will be on the menu?
We will have produce from around the UK but about 85% of it will come from Cornwall. The menu will change daily according to what's available. It will work in the same way as the Seafood & Grill in Rock, allowing diners to choose which fish they want and with which sauce and side dish. What we don't do in Cornwall but will be doing in London is offering a set lunch menu, which will be very competitively priced.
The dining room at the Capital is quite formal. Will the hotel change the interiors at all?
Yes, the restaurant will close for a few weeks in September for a refurbishment. We'll lose the white tablecloths and will have wooden tables installed - the whole interior will be made to look a bit more casual. We're also refitting the kitchen a bit and will be installing a Josper and a charcoal grill, which are so important in the kind of cooking that we do.