Nuno Mendes quits new restaurant just four months after receiving Michelin star

No reason has been given for the chef’s sudden departure

Updated on 19 February 2020 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Nuno Mendes quits new restaurant just four months after receiving Michelin star

Well-known London chef Nuno Mendes has quit his new restaurant concept just four months after it earned a Michelin star.

Mendes opened Mãos in 2018 without much fanfare or publicity. The mysterious restaurant is a tasting menu only concept found above Blue Mountain School, a venue which was co-founded by Mendes and entrepreneur James Brown and describes itself as a “unique interdisciplinary space”.

Mãos can accommodate 16 diners at one time, who all sit around one communal table. The experience sees chefs serve a multi-course seasonal tasting menu which lasts around three hours. The menu costs £170 per guest and that price excludes any drinks, as well as the optional service charge.

A statement from the restaurant announced the departure of Mendes, but no official reason was given for his exit: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Nuno, and wish him the best of luck with his ventures” reads the statement. “We’re thrilled that Edoardo Pellicano, who has been with us since we opened and has lead the kitchen creatively since early 2019, will continue to push the project alongside his talented kitchen team, our original front of house team and general manager Alex Casey.”

As the statement says, Edoardo Pellicano is now acting as head chef and the restaurant’s website has been amended to reflect this. Mãos was one of only four restaurants in the capital to be awarded a Michelin star for the first time in Michelin’s 2020 Guide, alongside The Dysart Petersham, Da Terra and Endo at Rotunda.

Mendes is perhaps best known for his work with Marylebone celeb-magnet Chiltern Firehouse, where he still serves as executive chef. He was also behind other projects, including Viajante in Bethnal Green and Taberna do Mercado in Spitalfields, but both restaurants have since closed.

In other chef news, Marcus Wareing says we’ve all been cooking omelettes wrong.