Thomas Straker is set to open his first solo restaurant in June later this year | Source: Hospitality Interiors

Social Media Super-Chef, Thomas Straker Announces Debut Restaurant in Notting Hill

Former Dinner by Heston chef and gourmet star of social media, Thomas Straker, is launching his first solo venture in London’s famed Notting Hill.

Set to open in June later this year, the bricks and mortar restaurant is called Straker’s offering “East London wine bar vibes”.

The establishment, originally called Acre and due to open in March 2020, was unfortunately put on hold due to pandemic shutdowns of the hospitality industry.

In the works since 2018, before his meteoric rise to internet fame, the 91 Golborne Road Notting Hill address has also changed from its previous Queen’s Park position.

Popular online for casually “cooking food you want to eat,” Straker mentions “the (restaurants’) food will be more refined than what I do (online). An epic neighbourhood restaurant is what we’re hoping to achieve.”

Inspired by exceptional seasonal produce cooked with simplicity and flair, an Italian-influenced menu will be ‘constantly evolving.’

Dishes include potato gnocchi with burnt butter, lemon and parmesan; grilled sea bass with white peach and almonds; and wood-roasted dover sole with courgette fritti.

Although certainly Italian-esque, Straker is wary of being labelled an ‘Italian Restaurant’ instead of bringing his online creativity to the table via a menu that doesn’t follow the typical guidelines.

I’m keen not to get pigeon-holed into, oh, Tom’s opening an Italian restaurant. I’m not. There are no recipes or rulebooks.

Thomas Straker

The menu will be paired with a ‘short but specialist’ wine list from wineries in France, Italy and Spain curated by London-based wine merchant, The Modest Merchant.

Online, Straker represents a new wave of modern chefs creating snackable videos that are both entertaining and informative.

Post pandemic, Straker had 900 followers on Instagram – he now boasts 169,000 followers on Instagram and a further 197,000 on TikTok.

Straker says his goal was far from social media stardom but simply to share cooking tips for his friends. His honest, uncomplicated food combined with his relatable vibe is undoubtedly his recipe for success.

And while many social stars might have minimal experience, Tom is classically trained with recipes backed by real-world knowledge and experience.

Previously spending time cutting his teeth at Brett Graham’s Michelin-starred The Ledbury, he then worked at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal as well as becoming head chef at Casa Cruz in Notting Hill.

It seems Straker continues to go from strength to strength. From social- media sensation to a restaurant owner, the next step for the English chef appears to be a cookbook to follow next April and if things go well future restaurants.

I don’t want to open 10 Straker’s necessarily, but once we’ve nailed this, maybe I’ll do one out east, head for a rooftop…

Thomas Straker

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