So two chaps called Nuno and Andre have been cooking up a storm in London in the last month.
This is no fairy tale, but it sure seems like one, where legendary hotelier Andre Balazs, responsible for The Standard, Chateau Marmont and The Mercer, along with accomplished maestro Chef Nuno Mendez of Viajantes fame got together for a blast in Marylebone, now more commonly known as Chiltern Firehouse. For her almost 5 star review, Evening Standard food critic, Fay Maschler used the headline “This kitchen is on fire”, but we’re gonna go ahead and say the whole damn place is ablaze. And in the best way, because you can’t book a table for weeks advance.
For years, nee decades, hotels have struggled to capture the flames of hot dining spots. Ian Schrager did it, Nick Jones was always doing it and Andre has shown us his more than evident brilliance again. And to be honest, we should have known. Can you say The Top of The Standard? Well, New Yorkers can.
And there in lies the holy grail. Local… Old school marketing folks were in a tizzy a decade ago when a genius coined the phrase “Think globally, act locally”. If hotels wish to achieve that achingly hip dining scene, they need to push boundaries and be creative. Living off the fat of the overnight business traveller, the most transient of all markets, is not a sustainable business, because there’s always a Burger Lobster, Hawksmoor or Ivy next door.
New food & drink concepts are popping up like selfies with Patty & Bun, Pitt Cue and Flat Iron to name a few. Its important to stay ahead of the curve for any restaurant, especially the hotel restaurant, given its more globally blended audience.
Sentiment folks, travellers and diners are craving more unique and local experiences, so its critical that a restaurant means it. Because Andre, he means it.