Andrea Cofini - the chef in charge of maintaining Joël Robuchon's legacy in London

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Andrea Cofini - the chef in charge of maintaining Joël Robuchon's legacy in London

Related tags Joël Robuchon Restaurant Michelin London French cuisine Fine dining Andrea Cofini L'Atelier Robuchon

The executive chef at Robuchon International on the return of L’Atelier Robuchon London, the capital's dining scene, and living up to the Robuchon name.

What’s your culinary background?

I trained mostly in restaurants but did a short stint at culinary school before I headed to Rome. In 2006, I honed my skills at La Pergola in Rome, which boasts a three-star rating. My interest in Asian cuisine started after this, when I trained in a Japanese fusion restaurant in Paris. I joined Robuchon International in 2014, beginning at the two-star restaurant in Paris, before joining the Shanghai restaurant in 2020.

Have you worked in London before, and if not what are your thoughts on the capital and its dining scene?

London is a captivating culinary landscape, and although I haven’t worked here before, I’ve followed the dining scene with great admiration. The city has an incredible mix of cultures and influences, which I believe offers a diverse palette of tastes and ingredients to work with.

What are you most looking forward to about the London opening?

Opening L‘Atelier Robuchon in London is such an exciting venture. I'm particularly looking forward to embracing the vibrant local food culture and infusing it with our own distinctive Robuchon touch.

What menus will you be serving and what dishes will be on the launch menu?

Our menus at L ‘Atelier Robuchon in London will showcase a blend of timeless Robuchon classics alongside new creations specifically designed for this location. You can expect an array of dishes that celebrate the best of French cuisine with innovative twists such as ‘Le Caviar’ – caviar, king crab, lobster jelly, and cauliflower puree; ‘Le Pied de Cochon’ – pig’s trotter served on toast with tarragon mustard; and ‘Le Black Cod’ – caramelised black cod with Malabar pepper sauce and coconut milk foam [pictured).

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Will there be dishes from existing restaurants as well as those unique to London?

Yes, we plan to offer a selection of signature dishes from existing L'Atelier restaurants, from ‘Le Caille’- quail stuffed with foie gras with mashed potatoes, to ‘La Dorade’- sea bream carpaccio with poppy seeds, lemon vinaigrette and lime zest, you will see the Robuchon classics on the menu.

How often will the menu change?

The menu at L'Atelier Robuchon London will change with the seasons to highlight the freshest ingredients. We aim to keep our offerings exciting and ever evolving, so our guests can anticipate new surprises regularly.

You’ve worked at Robuchon restaurants in Paris and Shanghai – how do they differ?

Robuchon restaurants in Paris and Shanghai each have their own unique character. Paris embodies classic French elegance, while Shanghai blends traditional French techniques with modern Asian influences. London will draw from these experiences but will also infuse elements of the local culinary scene, making it a distinct culinary destination.

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How similar will London be to the group’s other L’Atelier restaurants?

London's L ‘Atelier Robuchon will maintain the signature Robuchon style, with meticulous attention to detail and a focus on exceptional ingredients. However, it will also adapt to embrace the spirit of the city with new and exciting menu additions with accents of Asian influence. It has a newly developed bar, an open-plan kitchen so you can see the chef’s work their magic and speciality cocktails.

What do you think the key differences are between the Paris, London and Shanghai dining scenes?

The dining scenes in Paris, London, and Shanghai each possess distinctive characteristics. Paris epitomises classic elegance, with a focus on traditional French cuisine served in iconic bistros and brasseries. London, on the other hand, boasts culinary diversity, embracing cuisines from around the globe and emphasising innovation, from street food to fine dining. The city's pubs also play a crucial role in its dining culture. Meanwhile, Shanghai's dining scene is a captivating fusion of traditions, harmonising authentic Chinese flavours with international influences.

What are your ambitions for the restaurant?

To establish L'Atelier Robuchon as a culinary fine dining landmark in London that has an amazing, fun atmosphere. We are offering an exceptional dining experience, combining the rich legacy of Robuchon with the energy and diversity of London's food culture. We are creating  unforgettable moments for our guests and contributing to the city's vibrant culinary scene.

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