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Chef Ben Spalding hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet since leaving Simon Rogan’s two-year pop-up, Roganic, at the end of March.
‘I’m hoping to open my own restaurant early next year,’ he revealed to Square Meal. ‘Plans are in the early stages, but it will be a 60-cover restaurant in central London. My aim is to create something that’s world class but fun and accessible, with an informal style at lunch and 20-course menus at dinner.’
Could Spalding follow in the wake of stellar success Ollie Dabbous? Perhaps, but the 25-year-old is keen to be his own man.
‘I have the utmost respect for Ollie, but I’m not trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps,’ he told Square Meal. ‘I’d like to create something original and theatrical.
'One of my dishes is called chicken on a brick: a house brick covered in caramel with chicken-liver mousse, pickled shallots, hazelnuts, lingonberries and edible flowers on top,’ he added. ‘You eat all these intense flavours, and then at the end you lick the brick. The idea is you still take the food seriously, but it’s quirky too.’
Just don’t try it at home, folks.
This article was published in the summer 2012 issue of Square Meal Lifestyle.
© photography by Paul Winch-Furness