Australian chef, Skye Gyngell – who won a Michelin star at the renowned Petersham Nurseries in Richmond – will open a new restaurant in a wing of Somerset House which has been closed to the public for 150 years.
Gyngell, the daughter of the late Australian television executive Bruce Gyngell, beat several big names to take over the wing, formerly home to the Inland Revenue.
The superstar Aussie chef, who is famed for her informal style of cooking will open Spring in September 2014, after an extensive refurbishment. The 100 cover restaurant will offer diners a maximum of eight seasonally driven starters, eight mains and five desserts, prepared by 18 chefs. Dishes to start salivating about include Grilled scallops with corn purée and chilli oil and Damson ice cream with rice shortbread. All ingredients will be made from scratch on site.
Skye shot to fame at Petersham Nurseries before walking away after winning a Michelin star in 2011. “When we got the star, I was so excited and pleased and thrilled,” she revealed in an interview to Business Week. “But all of a sudden everyone came and said, ‘This isn’t a Michelin starred restaurant.’ Without the star, we could cook whatever we liked, but then people came to expect different things. It’s hard. It’s a lot of pressure.”
Nonetheless Skye, who trained as a chef in Paris during the 80s, says she would be thrilled if Spring – backed by the owners of country hotel, Heckfield Place – is recognised by the food critics. “I work hard and if something good happens, if someone awards us, I would be thrilled,” she told London’s Evening Standard.
Spring will open late September 2014 at Somerset House, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA