May 5, 2022
Who will be crowned Restaurateur of the Year 2002? Here’s who’s on this year’s shortlist.
Samyukta Nair, LSL Capital
The restaurateur behind Mayfair’s Jamavar and Bombay Bustle moved into new territory last year with opening of high-end Chinese restaurant MiMi Mei Fair. The co-founder of restaurant group LSL Capital alongside her father Dinesh is also partnering with Claude Bosi to open French-Mediterranean restaurant Socca Bistro on South Audley Street, marking the French chef’s return to Mayfair.
Karam Sethi, Jyotin Sethi, Sunaina Sethi, JKS Restaurants
JKS Restaurants has never been a group to stand still, and the past year has been no exception. In September the group opened Mayfair Indian restaurant Bibi with chef Chet Sharma to great acclaim and this month it opened the doors of Arcade Food Hall, the revamped food hall in London’s West End that it took over last year. The group also opened BAO Noodle Shop in Shoreditch last summer and there are more projects in the pipeline, including a standalone restaurant for Southern Thai food specialist Luke Farrell.
Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French, Joro, Nama
Jöro’s owners couple Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French have been busy with the opening last year of Liverpool-based Izakaya Nama within the city’s MetQuarter development, following on the success of their street food concept Konjö in Sheffield. Last supper they also opened boutique hotel and chef’s table House of Jöro, a 10-cover restaurant with four rooms with Japanese and Nordic influences.
Russell Norman, Trattoria Brutto
Celebrated London restaurateur Russell Norman made a welcome return to the dining room floor last year with the launch of Trattoria Brutto, his Tuscan-focused Italian restaurant that has impressed the critics and customers alike. Norman has also had a hand in the relaunch of theatreland restaurant Joe Allen overseeing the venue’s new bar area and reviving the truffled egg toast dish from his Spuntino days as part of the process.
Daniel and Natasha Smith, The Fordwich Arms, Bridge Arms
Daniel and Natasha Smith took on The Bridge Arms in the rural village of Bridge last year with the aim of transforming it to its former glory. The couple have since sprinkled some the magic they have conjured up at their nearby Michelin-starred The Fordwich Arms with Bridge Arms winning a Michelin star this year and cementing their position as power publicans.
Mark Greenaway, Pivot, Grazing, Greenaway’s Pie & Mash
Scottish chef and restaurateur Mark Greenaway opened his debut London fine dining restaurant last year having previously consulted on a number of high-profile launches in the English capital. Located in Covent Garden, Pivot is an intimate restaurant that showcases the classic French style of cooking that has made the chef a household name. In addition, he has dipped his toe into the world of casual dining with a pie and mash restaurant and has also made a success of restaurant meal kits with his Pivot by You brand.
Simon Rogan and Sam Ward, Umbel Restaurant Group
Simon Rogan’s Umbel restaurant group turned 20 this year, an occasion that was marked by his flagship restaurant L’Enclume being awarded three Michelin stars. Rogan has been busy both on these shores and further afield in recent years, having opened a restaurant at Linthwaite House hotel by Lake Windermere and more recently The Baker & Bottleman, a bakery by day and a natural wine bar by night that opened in Hong Kong at the end of last year.
Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams, Kudu Collective
Amy and Patrick Corbin’s Peckham-based restaurant business is now four strong with the opening late last year of Kudu Grill. The couple are steadily building a mini empire in South London with their restaurants and bars that expertly combine modern European cooking with a South African flourish.
The winner of this year’s Restaurateur of the Year award will be announced at the National Restaurant Awards ceremony, which is being held at London’s prestigious Hurlingham Club on 13 June.