Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags Restaurant

This week's top news stories include Harrods' plan to overhaul its fourth floor restaurant portfolio, the first London site for Danny Trejo’s taco brand, and Merlin Labron-Johnson’s new Kickstarter campaign.

Early 2025 will see Harrods overhaul its fourth floor restaurant portfolio​ by bringing in four high-profile international chefs as part of an ongoing shake up of its F&B. One of the restaurants has already been revealed as chef Dave Pynt’s Singaporean-born modern Australian barbecue concept Burnt Ends, which is currently ranked 34 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The other three are understood to have been secured but are yet to be revealed. Speaking to Restaurant​, director for restaurants and kitchens at Harrods Ashley Saxton said that all of them will mark the UK debut of an international chef with 'multiple Michelin stars'. The news comes as the Knightsbridge department store gears up to relaunch its basement-level Grade-I listed food hall​. ​​

- Hollywood actor Danny Trejo will bring his Mexican brand Trejo’s Tacos to the UK later this year​. The star of films including Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn and Heat will open a restaurant on Portobello Road in Notting Hill as part of plans to roll out the brand across Europe over the next five years. Trejo’s Tacos will occupy a two-storey, 3,000sq ft site that will have space for 70 covers inside and a further 30-cover capacity for alfresco dining on the outdoor terrace. It will have a cocktail bar as well as an underground ‘speakeasy’ featuring DJs for the after-dinner crowds. It is described as offering ‘an elevated Mexican dining experience’ with a menu that uses sustainably sourced ingredients. Dishes will include slow-roasted pork carnitas taco, served with fresh pineapple and fermented hot sauce; a steak asada taco with pepita pesto (a favourite of Anthony Bourdain); shrimp tostados, Baja-style beer-battered fish; blackened salmon; and beef-brisket.

- Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson has launched a crowdfund as part of plans to move his Somerset restaurant Osip to a larger, more rural location​. Osip 2.0 is billed as ‘a more ambitious evolution’ of the original Osip concept, which launched in the upmarket town of Bruton in 2019 and is currently ranked 24 on Restaurant's list of the top 100 places to eat in the UK as well as holding a Michelin star. Located about five minutes’ drive from Bruton in Hardway, the second iteration of Osip will feature a garden, living space and bedrooms.

Paul Ainsworth and Angela Hartnett were among the chefs recognised at the AA Hospitality Awards 2023​. Ainsworth, whose Cornwall-based portfolio includes the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow and The Mariners gastropub in nearby Rock, was crowned AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year. Hartnett, meanwhile, who is chef patron of the Michelin-starred Murano in London's Mayfair, received the Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of her service to the industry. The awards ceremony, presented by TV presenter and broadcaster Claudia Winkleman and held at JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London, also celebrated some of the UK’s top restaurants, pubs, hotels and spas. Luxury hotel Pan Pacific London won the AAAccessible Award, while the AA Sustainable Award went to boutique hotel group The Pig. Ambleside restaurant The Old Stamp House was named England’s Restaurant of the Year, with The Jackdaw in Conwy and Cail Bruich in Glasgow taking the respective titles for Wales and Scotland. Restaurant group MW Eat’s London flagship Chutney Mary was named London’s Restaurant of the Year.

Pip Lacey and Gordy McIntyre will close their Hicce restaurant in London’s Coal Drops Yard at the end of the year​. Announcing the closure on Instagram, the pair said the King's Cross development's overall landlord Argent had activated a break clause on clothes shop Wolf & Badger, from which they sublet the site. According to the post, Lacey and McIntyre were informed 18 months ago while presenting a planned investment to Argent. “We were offered what turned out to be false hope that we had the possibility to remain, and potentially secure a new long-term lease. While we have tried to negotiate and secure our future either in our current home or a potential new location within Coal Drops Yard, this final hurdle has proven to be the biggest and ultimately, insurmountable.

For more of this week's headlines, click here​.

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