L to R: Paulo de Tarso, Maurizio Morelli, Nicolas Jaouën
Photo by John Nassari
Paulo de Tarso and his partner Nicolas Jaouën have appointed Maurizio Morelli as head chef for their new Italian venture, Margot, which opens in London's Covent Garden this summer.
Morelli, who hails from Latina, near Rome, was most recently chef-patron at Latium restaurant in Fitzrovia, London.
De Tarso told The Caterer: "Our dream for Margot is that it will be the most amazing Italian restaurant, celebrating the country and its many regions. Maurizio's depth of knowledge and amazing skills will bring an incredible authenticity to Margot, which is so important to Nicolas and me. He has a great background and is as passionate as we are to take this journey."
After graduating from catering college, Morelli worked at various properties in his native Italy, including a two-year period at the Hassler hotel in Rome, where he honed his skills. He moved to London to work at the Lanesborough hotel, and from there joined the Halkin to work under chef Stefano Cavallini before opening Ibla restaurant in Marylebone as head chef, where he earned a Bib Gourmand.
Morelli went on to open Latium in 2003, and the restaurant quickly gained a reputation as one of the city's finest Italian eateries. In 2012, he opened Briciole Ristorante Gastronomia in Marylebone, a modern Italian trattoria with a delicatessen.
"Maurizio is a humble individual and we are proud to be working with him," added de Tarso.
De Tarso, who left his role as maître d' of Daniel Boulud's London outpost, Bar Boulud, last month, told The Caterer in November that he wanted Margot, which will have approximately 100 covers, to celebrate the glamour and rustic charm of Italian design and craft with a focus on great food and great service, and simple elegance - combining comfort and a refined but lively setting.
"We want it to feel warm and inviting while at the same time bringing that energy of a little bit of excitement and allure," he said.
Jaouën, meanwhile, left his role as general manager at Mayfair's La Petite Maison on 14 February.
The restaurateurs, who are good friends, worked together at Caprice Holding's Mayfair restaurant Scott's.