Renowned UK chefs Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann will be joining forces to open a new restaurant at The Abbey Hotel, in Bath, in September.
White, known as the first celebrity chef, is considered the enfant terrible of the UK restaurant scene. The youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars, White has trained esteemed chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone, and Shannon Bennett. Koffman, who has also been awarded three Michelin stars, is a French-born chef who has worked primarily in the UK. Until recently, he was the head chef of Koffmann's at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.
White, who regards Koffmann as he mentor, said, “For many, many, many years I reflected on my career and one of my deepest regrets was not spending more time with Pierre in the kitchen. I am looking forward to being the apprentice once again.”
Adding, “Personally, I’m also thrilled to be opening in Bath, a city which is very close to my heart. The Abbey Hotel has a brilliant central location and together we’re looking forward to creating a fantastic new restaurant for the city.”
In the early eighties, White worked with Koffmann at Tante Claire in Chelsea before opening Harvey’s in Wandsworth, which landed him two Michelin stars. Later, he would be awarded three Michelin stars at the Hyde Park Hotel restaurant. After courting controversy for several years with appearances on several reality TV programs, such as Masterchef, Kitchen Wars, and Celebrity Big Brother, White has lost some of his earlier shine. Now, his collaboration with Koffman is expected to serve him well among critics.
Koffmann, on the other hand, has been a bit more discreet, limiting his post-Berkeley appearances to a guest chef and playlist DJ gig at Dan Barber’s “WastED” pop-up on the roof of Selfridges in 2017. Of his new partner, he says, “Marco is one of the most talented chefs I have ever worked with. I am very much looking forward to our collaboration.”
The new venture seems to be a clean slate of sorts, as the two chefs are promising “good quality, affordable food” in a “relaxed, stylish and unpretentious” environment.
According to Nick Taplin, CEO of Black & White Hospitality, “To sit down between two chefs who have attained six Michelin stars is quite something. They both have loads of ideas on what the new restaurant should be and are very close to all elements such as the menus, décor, and styling. Nothing like this has happened before and we can’t wait to get open.”