Friday Five: the week's top news

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Top hospitality news stories Nico Ladenis Marcus Wareing

Related tags Nico Ladenis Marcus wareing Enoteca Turi Chick-fil-A Tom Phillips

Our most read articles this week include the death of pioneering chef Nico Ladenis and the upcoming closure of Marcus Wareing's eponymous restaurant at The Berkeley hotel.

- Pioneering chef Nico Ladenis has died aged 89.​ Largely self-taught, Ladenis was the first chef of British citizenship to attract three Michelin stars and was highly influential, imparting his culinary philosophies including ‘precision, restraint, simplicity’ and ‘consistency, consistency, consistency’ on generations of younger chefs. He was also known for his belief that the customer was not always right and strict approach in both the kitchen and dining room with diners occasionally precluded from ordering things he didn’t deem appropriate. Despite his uncompromising and at times cantankerous approach, he was a hugely respected industry figure.

- Marcus Wareing will close his eponymous restaurant Marcus at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge later this year.​ The Michelin star restaurant’s last service will be on 26 December. In a statement it said: “After over 20 successful years of operating a restaurant at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, Marcus Wareing and the hotel have mutually agreed on a change of direction. I am not retiring quite yet, though - not at all. I’m ready for a new and exciting chapter to begin. I will update on our plans for 2024 in due course.” Wareing has run the restaurant at the hotel since 2003, first when it was home to Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus and later as Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley when he took it over in 2008. The restaurant relaunched in 2014 under its current name. It held two stars in 2007 but was downgraded to a one-star rating in the 2019 Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland.

- Well-known London Italian restaurant Enoteca Turi has been acquired by Dominic Ford’s Restaurants Inc. Ltd​ with additional investment from Liberty Wines’ founder and managing director David Gleave. The deal includes the leasehold of the restaurant’s Chelsea premises, the Enoteca Turi brand and one of the capital’s most valuable and impressive Italian wine collections. The sale comes as founders Giuseppe and Pam Turi retire after 30 years at the restaurant, which was originally founded as a small trattoria in Putney in 1990 but decamped to Pimlico Road in 2015. Most of the senior team will remain, including general manager Daniele Siro and head chef Giampiero Giuliani. Ford told Restaurant that some minor changes are planned but, in the main, the restaurant will remain as it is.

- US fast food chain Chick-fil-A has announced it is planning to relaunch in the UK in early 2025​ and expand to five sites within the first two years. The Atlanta-based fried chicken chain, which runs more than 2,800 restaurants across the US, plans to invest $100m (£80m) in the UK over the next decade and is hoping to attract UK franchise partners to its ‘unique’ owner-operator model. The plan comes four years after it tried and failed to get a foothold in the UK market. In 2019 it opened a site within Reading’s Oracle shopping centre that was subsequently marked for closure little more than a week later. The chicken chain’s reported historic donations to anti-LGBT+ organisations led gay rights charity Reading Pride to call for a boycott of the restaurant, and the Oracle later announced it was not planning to extend the chain’s lease beyond its six-month pilot period. It subsequently launched a site at the Macdonald Aviemore Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, but that site closed too within a few months.

- Chef Tom Phillips will be the next chef to represent the UK in the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition.​The executive chef of the two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in London, who was supported by commis chef Harry Van Leirop, triumphed in the Bocuse d’Or UK Selection, which took place last Friday (8 September) at the University of West London. It will be the second time Phillips has represented the UK as candidate in the Bocuse d’Or. He and his then commis chef Nathan Lane secured a place in the final at the European heats in Turin in 2018 and went on to achieve tenth place at the competition in Lyon in 2019. Phillips also coached the previous UK team, which was led by The Ritz premier sous chef Ian Musgrave and placed seventh in January this year.

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