Masterchef host and judge Gregg Wallace has appointed a new head chef at his Bermondsey Square Hotel restaurant Gregg's Table less than two months after the restaurant opened.
Jordi Vila, formerly head chef at London's Vivat Bacchus, joins Gregg's Table after a number of negative press reviews for the first restaurant venture for Wallace who also runs the greengrocer/café concept Wallace & Co in Putney .
The 34-year-old Spanish-born Vila has also previously worked as chef de partie at the Michelin-starred Covent Garden restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and worked as a sous chef to Nuno Mendes as well as working for a period at El Bulli, the former number one in The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
Gregg's Table opened at the end of February offering retro and 1970s-themed British classics such as avocado prawn and Chicken Kiev. At the time of the launch Wallace told BigHospitality in an exclusive video interview that he did not care about moving from judge to being judged. "I think I’m setting myself up here to be attacked by critics, but I really don’t mind," he said.
Announcing the new appointment the restaurant said 'all comments and suggestions' had been taken on board and 'significant changes' had already been made.
Wallace himself said: "We are absolutely delighted Jordi has come on board. His experience is second to none and we look forward to working together to develop the Gregg’s Table concept and offering."
Robert Holland, general manager of The Bermondsey Square Hotel, said Vila would be bringing his own interpretation to the menu and the appointment was moving the restaurant forward after a difficult period.
"Whilst we have experienced a challenging start to the opening of Gregg’s Table, we have listened carefully to our customers and adapted the menu accordingly. Jordi is a very talented chef with a fantastic track record and we are sure that he will take the execution of the dishes to a high level," he said.
It is understood the original head chef, Mark Blatchford, who was Gregg Wallace’s executive chef and was involved with the development of the original menu, has now returned to Wallace & Co where he was working prior to joining the 80-cover restaurant which was recently awarded an AA rosette.