What are your aspirations for your Paris restaurant?
As with any restaurant I open, I want every single guest that steps through the door to have a memorable experience.
We have an exceptional [Italian] head chef in Simone Zanoni and a stunning location at The Trianon Palace in Versailles. It's nerve-wracking opening any new project but I've no doubt that with the team I have on board it will be a success.
What will be your specialities?
The menu at the restaurant will reflect that of our three Michelin-starred restaurants in London and will offer an exquisite array of the finest produce and flavour combinations.
We haven't finalised the menu yet but it will have similarities with Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (in Chelsea, London); such as ravioli of lobster with beautiful, light seafood bisque, followed with roasted pigeon or perhaps fillet of sea bass with a little caviar velouté and Charlotte potatoes.
The menus will change regularly and we are constantly testing new dishes.
What kind of setting / ambience do you aim to achieve in the restaurant?
The restaurant will offer two different dining concepts, a fine-dining option modelled on our flagship restaurant in Chelsea, London and a brasserie offering more casual dining.
In the restaurant we will have a Chef's Table where guests will have the opportunity to dine overlooking the kitchen, right in the heart on the action.
It's something that we have offered in our London restaurants for a while and has proved immensely popular.
How will it be different to your other restaurants?
This is the first time we have offered a brasserie-style option alongside fine dining. It's very exciting to have the opportunity to offer a range of options for guests.
We do not want to attract just one type of customer but businessmen and family parties alike, from Paris and out of the city.
Do you have a confirmed opening date for your Paris restaurant or brasserie?
It is due to open on March 26.
You previously spent three years working alongside Parisian chefs Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon. Have any of their ideas influenced your cooking?
If so which will you be using in your Paris restaurant?
Working for Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon was an invaluable experience. I learnt a new respect for food in Paris, how cleverly you can make a dish out of nothing. No food went in the bin.
Take a simple leek - the best part would be used in a soup, the rest for a sauce, the top for a mousse and so on.
My eyes were really opened to the value of all produce throughout my time in Paris and it's something I continue in all my restaurants and staff training.
How do you aim to cater for an international and French clientele?
By serving excellent cuisine and bringing out the best flavours of the seasonal ingredients we will use.
I‘ve appointed Simone Zanoni, one of our most talented head chefs as Chef de Cuisine.
He has worked for us for ten years and recently worked as head chef at the flagship restaurant in Chelsea. He's an excellent chef and I'm very excited to have him on board.
It has been said that your personality fits well with the French mentality. Is this true? How do you aim to inject your character into the restaurant?
French kitchens are among the hardest working in the world - the blood, sweat and tears that go into those kitchens is incredible.
I am constantly on my toes and am always excited about cooking, trying new ingredients and novel combinations.
I always seek to support and inspire my staff and what they always get is brutal honesty from me - something I believe is of paramount importance.
Gaining the respect and loyalty of your staff is crucial, without them you have nothing.