Michelin-starred Wilks restaurant in Bristol returns after announcing closure

01 April 2021 by
Michelin-starred Wilks restaurant in Bristol returns after announcing closure

Chef James Wilkins has returned to the kitchen at Wilks restaurant in Bristol after announcing the site's closure last year.

The restaurant opened in 2012 and won a Michelin star a year later but was put up for sale in 2019.

Now Wilkins is back at the restaurant and is offering monthly frozen food menus and meal boxes for special occasions, as first reported by Bristol Live.

He is also considering reopening the restaurant for dine-in customers a few days a month but insists it will not return in the same capacity as before.

"I went to France last summer and came back for Christmas and got stuck in the UK, so I decided to make use of the empty restaurant," Wilkins told The Caterer.

"I'm thinking of opening the restaurant Fridays and Saturday twice a month with a nice tasting menu and wine pairing. It's not just a case of going back to how it was before as it was quite intense."

Wilkins' monthly frozen food menu features around 20-30 items including duck confit, langoustine bisque, soups, terrines, and desserts such as truffles and macaroons.

He hopes to improve on the frozen dishes currently available in many supermarkets.

"A lot of frozen foods have a bad reputation in the UK, but in some French supermarkets you can buy much higher quality frozen products which is what I am aiming to do here," he said.

The restaurant remains on the market and it is uncertain if the business will continue long term.

He said: "I'm working on my own and this is just a small local thing in Bristol. When restaurants reopen we need to look at how customer's buying habits change and if they're still interested in food boxes."

Wilkins previously worked as head chef director at Michel Bras' Toya restaurant in Japan.

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