MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Sven-Hanson Britt has opened Homestead at London City Island on Leamouth Peninsula, launching as a takeaway, delicatessen and grocery store while under lockdown, with the restaurant and bar to open alongside once restrictions are lifted.
The concept is overseen by Britt as creative director, with Scott Ward as director of operations and Tris Hillier as brand and communications director.
The kitchen is led by executive chef James Durrant, formerly executive chef of the Game Bird restaurant at the Stafford London hotel and Acorn Award winner, while leading front of house will be general manager Martin Renshaw, previously a general manager at Rüya London and various outposts of Jason Atherton's Social Company.
The counter showcases meats, homemade pasta, cheese and fish, ethically sourced from British day boats, high-welfare farms and small artisan producers, including BH Fish in Poole and Tori & Ben's Farm in Derbyshire.
The initial takeaway offering reflects the to-come dine-in menu, with salads, sandwiches, quiches and pies on offer as well as hot dishes such as aubergine massaman curry and Cobble Lane chorizo and peppered salami pizza with La Latteria mozzarella.
Hot and cold sandwiches are also available, including a chicken Kiev sandwich with raw cabbage and Caesar dressing, and banh mi with crispy roast pork belly, ham and chicken liver terrine, pickles, chilli and coriander.
During lockdown, Homestead has partnered with BrewDog to set up a mobile bar offering a range of beers to take away and a wine list, focused on small growers and wine distributors. The shop floor also features a coffee shop, florist and bottle shop.
Once restrictions have lifted, Homestead will have an all-day offering and a menu created by Britt. A charcoal grill will be integral, used to cook the selection of daily changing meat, fish and vegetables.
Britt said: "The East London food scene has completely changed over the past few months, meaning everything we knew before about eating out is now different. My family and I have moved to City Island, a hub of creativity and artists in need of a great food offering. Whilst in the pre-opening phase of Oxeye, we had time to think about how to launch a different style of business here at City Island; something that is solely focused on delivering the very best ingredients to our community.
"It's all about provenance, the story, the ethics and the traceability behind the products. Ultimately, Homestead is all about community, which we will contribute to by delivering something meaningful to our ever-growing family of neighbours here in East London."
Hillier said: "Despite the current lockdown measures we actually feel it is a great time to launch Homestead as everyone is at home. It's a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone and so we are looking forward to launching."
Ward added: "Homestead is a place that we would be excited about visiting ourselves, with our friends and family. The team we have put together is amazing; we feel very privileged to be able to hire people during this difficult time for UK hospitality, and buy direct from farmers, fishermen and growers who need our support more than ever."