Max Renzland, formerly food development director at D&D Restaurants, has opened a relaxed French bistro in Wanstead, north-east London.
The chef - who is still working two days a week for D&D on a consultancy basis - ran a number of highly-regarded neighbourhood bistros in the 1990s and this project is very much a return to those roots.
Called Provender, the 100-cover high street-set restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner six days a week serving simple French food, including salads, steaks and traditional main dishes such as Choucroute and Poulet a la Creme aux Morilles.
"The food is French Bourgeois but we strike a balance between the luxurious and the humble and the prices are low," said Renzland.
"We also have an exclusively French wine list with bottles starting at £15.50 sourced directly from small growers."
The style of the restaurant is relaxed and chic with much of the reclaimed furniture sourced by Renzland himself, lighting was found in a school for example.
Renzland, who was food development director at D&D for six years, is head chef and owner. He has financial support from unnamed partners.
"It's a joy to be back behind a stove," he said. "I'm very hands on, but I've also learned that it's very good to have a strong management team behind me which is what I have here."
Renzland had hoped to set up a restaurant in another location in London last year, but went back to D&D London when plans fell through, before moving ahead with plans for Provender which opened two weeks ago.