Meet Jason Atherton – one of Britain’s most respected chefs.
He runs a restaurant empire across the globe. He is also in a primetime TV series.
And, he is set to launch a huge new restaurant in Mayfair.
As London’s busiest chef-restaurateur, Atherton operates no less than 6 restaurants and 2 bars in London alone within his Social Company.
Three of them have a Michelin star.
The group also includes a Michelin-recognised restaurant in New York and sites in Shanghai, Dubai and Doha, among others.
The latest addition to his restaurant empire is The Betterment, in Mayfair.
It is perhaps the summer’s most anticipated gastronomic launch.
And it’s one of the chef’s grandest projects to date.
Opening at The Biltmore, it encompasses an all-day restaurant, a cocktail bar and offers banqueting and room service.
“I’ve got 270 staff on the books waiting for it to open. It’s huge,” laughs Atherton.
The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with the action revolving around Basque wood-fired grills.
Main courses will see Atherton’s team prepare healthy proteins including fish, shellfish, chicken and veal, arranged simply on the plate.
“The star of the show will be the side orders. There are 16 and I’ve had a lot of fun with them.
“There’s Mexican, Middle Eastern, South American, Texan, southeast and northern Asian and European influences.
“Every time you come, you can have a different experience. Nobody has done that before,” he says.
Tea and cocktails
Afternoon tea will be served in the hotel lobby or garden.
The Pine Bar is to serve bar bites and fancy cocktails that highlight global challenges to sustainability.
“There are 12 cocktails, and money from them will go to sustainable causes.
“I want people to drink a cocktail and be reminded about the challenges we face as a species,” he adds.
Atherton says the décor will have that “wow factor”.
“The trouble in Mayfair is that restaurants can look a bit corporate.
“We, of course, want it to be luxury, but people also want to have a bit of fun in their lives. I can’t wait for people to see it,” he says.
He also insists that it will be “affordable luxury”. Cocktails, for example, will cost £10-£12.
New TV series
Amid all the plans for the restaurant, however, Atherton has found time to front a new TV series The Chef’s Brigade.
“I take 10 young chefs who wouldn’t have the opportunity to work in a restaurant like this – and who’ve never fitted into a kitchen brigade properly – to Europe.
“I try and discipline them and train them to be a world-class brigade in six weeks. Obviously that throws up challenges. I really put them through the mill,” he says.
Atherton has come a long way from his childhood in Skegness. So where does he see himself in 10 years’ time?
“I’m nearly 50. I can only do this for another 10 years. The next generation of chefs will be running the company with me – and hopefully I’ll be sat on a beach somewhere.
“But right now, my energy levels are through the roof. I want to share that with Mayfair.”
This article was originally published in the Mayfair Times.
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