New John Salt chef Neil Rankin sets out his vision for the menu

09 January 2013 by
New John Salt chef Neil Rankin sets out his vision for the menu

Neil Rankin, who has taken the helm at London restaurant John Salt's kitchen following the departure of Ben Spalding last month, has set out his vision for the food under his tenure.

Spalding had helped win the restaurant positive reviews despite spending only two months at the establishment. He was supposed to have held a six-month residency but put his early departure down to differences with pub company 580, which also operates the Owl and Pussycat in Shoreditch, and the Fellow in King's Cross, over the future direction of the restaurant.

Rankin was formerly a chef at barbecue restaurant Pitt Cue Co and had been in talks with 580 to work with the company before Spalding left.

He said that the food at the restaurant would be built around smoke and charcoal, but added: "I'm taking the idea of natural cooking a little further and experimenting with using different woods and charcoal as a seasoning as well as a cooking method, so even some of the raw dishes will taste like they've been near a fire.

Rankin said the supply network would see Matt Chatfield from the Cornish Grill set up a network in Cornwall that supplies seafood direct from the Cornish coast, as well as Cornish meat and vegetables. "It's a chef's dream to work with such ingredients," he said.

The new menu is expected to be fully up and running by February.

Ben Spalding leaves Islington pub John Salt after two months as head chef >>](

[What's on the menu - John Salt is occasionally thrilling, occasionally alarming, says Marina O'Loughlin >>](

[Ex-Roganic chef Ben Spalding to launch Islington pub with 580 >>](
By Neil Gerrard

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