Holy Carrot appoints Acme Fire Cult co-founder Daniel Watkins as executive chef ahead of launch

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Holy Carrot appoints Acme Fire Cult co-founder Daniel Watkins as executive chef ahead of launch

Related tags Holy Carrot Casual dining Irina Linovich Plant-based London Restaurant Acme Fire Cult Daniel Watkins

Plant-based restaurant Holy Carrot has appointed Acme Fire Cult co-founder Daniel Watkins as executive chef ahead of the opening of its first permanent site in London’s Notting Hill.

Set to open on Portobello Road this summer, the restaurant will have a focus on ‘vegetable-forward dining’ and have a dedicated commitment to low waste and sustainability.

Plans for Holy Carrot’s debut permanent restaurant were first announced in May last year​. The restaurant was originally set to launch last autumn, but was delayed until this year due to building work.

The brand began life at Urban Retreat in June 2021​ serving a plant-based menu of seasonal, organic British produce that had been ethically sourced.

"This first flagship restaurant for Holy Carrot has been a long time in the planning for us,” says founder Irina Linovich.

“Portobello Road's iconic charm and creative spirit perfectly align with our mission, offering a seamless fit for our unique vegetable-focussed dining experience.

“We want to create a relaxed dining spot, both inside and out, where guests can indulge in the very best pleasures of life: food, wine, good vibes and great company. A neighbourhood restaurant that our customers come back to time and time again.

“With a talented chef such as Daniel Watkins overseeing our menus, I am super excited to see what dishes he can bring to help us on our next step in the Holy Carrot journey.”

Watkins’s menu will showcase ‘bold, flavour-driven dishes’ built around the same methods of fire and fermentation he championed at Acme Fire Cult in Dalston.

Working with premium producers such as Shrub, Natoora, Flourish and Primeur, the 'root to peel' menu will include Holy Carrot signatures such as ‘sexy tofu’; and crispy oyster mushrooms.

New dishes will include lion’s mane and miso gravy; grilled watermelon with smacked cucumber, ancho oil, togarashi and shiso leaf; smoked chilli butter carrot skewer; and smoked beetroot with crema, hazelnut cream and herbs.

“The dishes we will be developing at Holy Carrot are entirely unique, created using the very best seasonal produce available, showcasing beautiful bold flavours, unusual combinations, and kitchen techniques that ensure ingredients are used in their entirety and to their very best,” says Watkins, who launched Acme Fire Cult with fellow former St Leonards chef Andrew Clarke back in 2022​.

To compliment the food menu, Holy Carrot will offer an ever-evolving selection of natural and biodynamic wines from suppliers such as Ellis Wines, Les Caves de Pyrene and Tutto. There will also be a low-waste cocktail list created by the team at A Bar With Shapes For A Name in east London.

The restaurant’s dining room will hold 60 covers, with the interiors overseen by architect/design firm Al-Jawad Pike.  

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