I consider myself very fortunate in having extremely talented staff who are loyal and willing to give their all in an effort to make each of our guests have a dining experience which is truly memorable. I have often mentioned both in my blog and in Press interviews, my commitment to educating and nurturing young chefs but in the last few months I have also been seeking ways to help my more senior staff develop their careers. As with all people who are career-minded, three of my senior chefs have been, quite rightly, looking at ways to progress and, as I value their exceptional talent, continued loyalty and constant support, I am excited to have been able to do something about this.
Many of you will have seen the Press coverage about my move into London. On 2nd October, Outlaw’s will open at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge. The opportunity came, as they often do, purely by chance and following a light-hearted discussion with the owner, David Levin. I wasn’t actively seeking to move into London, even though many of my supporters had suggested I should, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more attractive the prospect has become. I will say here though, this does not mean I’m leaving Cornwall!
The Capital is an excellent, well-established hotel …and the opportunity to re-launch the dining experience there and bring it into line with current trends offers me a challenge that I relish. It will also allow me to take the very best produce from the south west and present it on a more global stage. Although still predominantly using seafood from Cornish waters, I will also have the chance to showcase that from other places around the UK too. I’m hoping that a presence in London will lure more visitors to the delights of Cornwall, thus benefitting the hospitality industry down here as a whole.
When it opens, Outlaw’s at The Capital will be refurbished in the same style as Outlaw’s in Rock; bright, modern and stylish with a relaxed ambience. I want it to become a favourite place to have leisurely meal with friends or colleagues where guests can be assured of friendly, efficient service and enjoy the very best quality seafood, meats and vegetables, perhaps with a glass or two of wine from the extensive cellar.
I am delighted to announce that my Head Chef in Outlaw’s in Rock, Pete Biggs, has agreed to return the hustle and bustle of city life in order to run the restaurant there. I will be there every week to keep an eye on things but Pete will be the person running the operation on a day-to-day basis. Pete’s CV is impressive having worked at The Square, Hibiscus and Vanilla in London. He is quite simply a fantastic chef. He likes nothing more than to experiment with new dishes and we have spent many hours discussing ideas and tweaking ingredients or presentation until things are just right. Pete is very excited at the prospect of opening the new restaurant and I know that he is the man to make it a success.
With Pete leaving Rock, the position of Head Chef in Outlaw’s there will become vacant. Luckily though, second chef Redas Katauskas is ready, and eager, to take the helm. Redas is Lithuanian (we don’t use his surname because no-one can pronounce it!) and came to England because he wanted to pursue a career as a chef. On arrival in the UK, six years ago, he took a job as kitchen porter but he crossed over to cooking and qualified as a chef through Cornwall College. Redas joined our kitchens when Restaurant Nathan Outlaw was in Fowey and his talent was quickly evident. He progressed through the kitchen to become my sous chef and stayed with myself and Pete Biggs when we made the move to Rock. It can truly be said that Redas has worked his way to the top. He lives in Wadebridge with his wife and, on his days off, can be found either gardening or out photographing the Cornish landscape. Redas feels that he is now almost Cornish!