22 August 2014

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Young Turk Isaac McHale to storm Shoreditch Town Hall


young turks - Young-Turks.jpgIsaac McHale, one of chef collective the Young Turks, is preparing a permanent solo project that will open in Shoreditch’s historic Town Hall this November.

The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be the flagship restaurant of Shoreditch Town Hall, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation. The restaurant will be funded through public investment, otherwise known as ‘crowdfunding’: by the end of August, McHale and his business partners hope to raise £250,000 from investors, who will receive a 25% stake in their new company, St Vibes, in return.

‘We’re getting lots of individuals, regulars, friends and interested parties to invest £1,000 to £5,000, or multiples thereof, in the business,’ McHale told Square Meal.

McHale will head up the kitchen, aided by Johnny Smith and Daniel Willis of The Clove Club, who made up the crack front-of-house team first time around when Upstairs at The Ten Bells popped up at the end of last year.

The new venue will be split into a separate dining room and bar. In the dining room, McHale will stick to the playful cooking style, British ingredients, and four-course set-menu format that generated such a buzz when he and fellow Young Turk James Lowe initially set up shop at The Ten Bells.

The Town Hall’s menu will even include a few popular dishes from McHale’s Ten Bells run. ‘I’m going to be bringing my buttermilk-fried chicken in pine salt to the Town Hall,’ said the chef.

Meanwhile, in the bar, guests will be able to snack on small plates to accompany the cocktails and wines.

Following the Ten Bells venture, McHale and his team were keen for their next project to remain in east London. ‘We all live east, and feel at home here,’ explained McHale. ‘We want to make Shoreditch a great place to eat.’

The other Young Turks are currently working on various solo projects, with Lowe planning a restaurant of his own, which will open later this year. Despite having gone their separate ways for now, the chefs remain close allies.

‘I'm excited finally to be doing a restaurant that will be mine,’ said McHale. ‘But I can't wait to eat in James' place when it comes.’

Whether the in-demand chef will have time to visit remains to be seen.

This article was published in August 2012.

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