The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards: Restaurateur of the Year 2023 shortlist

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The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards: Restaurateur of the Year 2023 shortlist

Related tags Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Fine dining Eyal Shani Dean Banks Harts Group Robin Gill Super 8 Restaurants Ben Chapman Samyukta Nair

This year's shortlist of top restaurateurs has been revealed.

Dean Banks - Haar, The Forager, Dean Banks at the Pompadour, Dulse


Scotland-based Dean banks has been growing steadily his restaurant business since the opening of his first restaurant, Haar, in St Andrews in 2019. Since then, he has launched fine dining restaurant Dean Banks at The Pompadour in June 2021 and relocated Haar with the creation of six boutique rooms above the restaurant. More recently, last year he opened Dulse restaurant and bar in Edinburgh and in December he opened country style pub The Forager.

Robin Gill - Maria G’s, Bottle + Rye, Darby’s, Birch, Sorella


Chef and restaurateur Robin Gill has spread his wings these past 12 months with the opening of neighbourhood Italian restaurant Maria G’s in Kensington in June and a second following six months later in Fulham. If that wasn’t enough to keep him occupied Gill, who is also a partner with Birch in Hertfordshire at two of its restaurants, also last year opened Parisian-inspired wine bar Bottle & Rye in Brixton alongside his wife Sarah.

Brian Hannon and Ben Chapman - Super 8 Restaurants


The duo behind London-based restaurant group Super 8 Restaurants have set the capital alight with its restaurants that include Soho’s Kiln, a former Best Restaurant in the UK; Brat in Shoreditch and Climpson's Arch, and Smoking Goat in Shoreditch. Its recent Chicken Shop at Smoking Goat was a huge success, as promises to be Mountain, its latest project with Brat chef Tomos Parry that opens in Soho later this year.

Sam Hart, James Hart, Crispin Somerville, Anna Watkins – Harts Group


Harts Group doesn’t do things by halves, as its multi-faceted opening at Coal Drops Yards a few years back proved, and this past year has been no different. This time choosing new development Borough Yards, the group last year opened three impressive venues – a second Parrillan, a fifth Barrafina (its first south of the river) and Spanish wine and cocktail bar venue Bar Daskal. At the start of this year, it relaunched its beloved Quo Vadis restaurant with a fresh look and double the number of covers.

Samyukta Nair - LSL Capital


The co-owner of LSL Capital with her father Dinesh, Nair was shortlisted in this category last year and appears again this year thanks to two new high-profile restaurant openings. Sticking to Mayfair, last year saw her open Japanese restaurant KOYN and earlier this year Socca, a beautiful contemporary Mediterranean restaurant in partnership with chef Claude Bosi, opened on Mayfair’s South Audley Street.

Eyal Shani – Miznon, Lilienblum


The idiosyncratic Israeli chef burst onto London’s food scene last year with the opening of pita-focused brand Miznon in Soho, quickly following this up with a second site in Notting Hill. The ‘game changing’ restaurant, as one national restaurant critic described it, takes the pita to new heights thanks to Shani’s obsession and attention to detail. There’s more to come from him, too, with his second London restaurant concept, Lilienblum, opening this month. Beyond that, this autumn will see the launch of Seven North within the Sircle London and he’s also in the process of securing a site for a London outpost of HaSalon, his fine-dining restaurant brand, which has a flagship site in Tel Aviv.

The Restaurateur of the Year will be announced at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, being held at The Hurlingham Club on 12 June.

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