Mark Poynton, chef-patron of Alimentum restaurant in Cambridge, awarded its first Michelin star yesterday, has revealed ambitions to open a second site in London.
Following the unexpectedly early release of the 2013 Michelin Guide yesterday, Poynton told BigHospitality London ‘could be the next step’ after the chef heads to the capital in November to run ‘A Taste of Alimentum’ - a three-week pop-up restaurant at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone.
“My main focus at the moment is on the pop-up,” he said. “If that’s successful then who knows what might happen in London afterwards.
“If they like the food we offer and the style of service we provide, then London could be the next step for us. We’ve been looking on and off in the capital since the beginning of the year and when I got approached by Landmark I thought this is the perfect opportunity to see if a proper restaurant could work there.”
Having originally opened in 2007, Poynton joined Alimentum in 2008 from acclaimed two-Michelin-starred restaurant Midsummer House. Having also spent time at Michelin-starred restaurant Juniper, the chef spoke of his delight at receiving a star of his own.
“A Michelin star is an absolutely fantastic title to achieve. It’s a testament to the food, the service and the real hard work and dedication that the team’s put in over the past three years.
Michelin star increases bookings
“My main aim for the business has make as much money as possible; we put our work in to make profit and anything else we get is really secondary, but It’s really nice to get a pat on the back and the plaudits.”
He went on to reveal the instant effects that the star has had on restaurant bookings.
“Business at the restaurant is generally pretty good but we only had 25 booked last night and since the announcement of the star we’ve got 50 booked already, so we’ve seen a bit of an increase already.
“I’ve had loads of people calling me saying they really want to come and experience the restaurant, so there’s already been a tangible benefit in less than a day.”
Seventeen other restaurants have been awarded one Michelin star this year, eight of which are in London and two of which are pubs. Read the full results from the 2013 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland here.