LAURENCE Henry, the well-known and former MasterChef winner, is to be chef patron at Canal Turn – the stunning new restaurant space currently on site at The Island Quarter in central Nottingham, it was announced today (Tuesday 28 September).
Laurence, who won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2018 when he was just 25 when he was hailed as the “next generation” of chefs by judge Marcus Wareing, has been in talks with the owners of The Island Quarter for more than two years. He has been at the forefront of the planning process for the restaurant space.
Laurence will operate and oversee the food offering at Canal Turn – which will have venues spanning three storeys and opens in Spring 2022. Each level will offer something unique for Nottingham and will allow Laurence to showcase the same culinary skills which wowed the MasterChef judges.
Laurence said: “To be involved in this exciting new venue in Nottingham is absolutely fantastic and I am so pleased I can now shout about it. I have been looking for some time for my own restaurant where I can deliver my own style of cooking and be truly creative.
“I have been able to be involved of the development of the restaurant and bar space from the very beginning. Working with the developer, The Conygar Investment Company PLC, has been fantastic because they have given me the freedom to create and evolve the project in my own direction which is incredibly rare – and because of this, it gives me the chance to present a unique outcome and product.”
Each level of the Canal Turn development offers something tailored and different. The canalside lower level will be a bar and grill – somewhere to drink, relax, and grab a bite to eat. It is a large, open plan venue overlooking the canal and includes and outside bar and extensive events space.
The middle ground level will be Laurence’s signature restaurant – a place to display his culinary craft and his creativity. The upper events level is a large, open plan space with capacity for 200 people for parties, events, and celebrations. The space has a high ceiling, large windows overlooking the canal and surrounding architecture and features lots of light.
Conygar will be announcing the names of the venues within Canal Turn in due course, with Laurence very much part of the decision-making process. The names will reflect Nottingham’s history and Canal Turn’s location on a significant site – which has a rich and interesting heritage.
Laurence trained at Ashburton Chefs Academy and went on to work in the kitchens of some of the world’s most noteworthy chefs including Sat Bains, Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton. He has a massive wealth of expertise and experience and has a passion for ways that Asian food can play an integral part in his cuisine, while maintaining simplicity. Laurence lives in Nottingham, where he worked at Restaurant Sat Bains as sous chef.
The interior space of Canal Turn has been designed by renowned interior architecture and design studio Macaulay Sinclair, the company behind Dishoom, Hawksmoor, and Caravan.
Robert Ware, CEO of Conygar, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce Laurence as operator of Canal Turn. We have been working really closely with him for a while now and are now delighted to announce our partnership with him.
“Laurence is a well-known chef nationally, in part because of his winning BBC’s MasterChef 2018. We know that Laurence will make this venue his own with his unique style. Nottingham is on the map because of its Michelin star restaurants, and we know that this offer will be strengthened with the addition of Laurence Henry.”
More information about food, menus, restaurant names and images of interiors will be revealed over the coming months, added Robert.
Laurence said: “I am keen to take advantage of my MasterChef win and build on my reputation and that of the venues to make a huge success of Canal Turn. It is the first phase of The Island Quarter and I can’t wait to get started on this exciting new adventure and look forward to welcoming diners from all over the country.”
Marcus Wareing, judge of MasterChef 2018, said: “Laurence is inventive, creative and he leaves nothing behind in the kitchen. In my opinion he is the next generation.”
To find out more about Canal Turn and The Island Quarter, please visit: www.theislandquarter.com/