JEAN-Christophe Ansanay-Alex, the Michelin starred French chef from Auberge de l’Ile, is to open a new restaurant in London.
The 50-cover restaurant will be a fine-dining offering in South Kensington, potentially called Ambassade de L’Ile. It will occupy the site formerly belonging to Frances Atkins’s Shaw’s restaurant on Old Brompton Road.
The chef said: "I chose London because it’s the economic capital of Europe, I love this city, and it’s not far from Lyon," but said he plans to continue managing Auberge de l`Ile.
The a la carte menu will be in English and French, with a mainly business lunch trade, more couples and families in the evening and an average spend of around £115.
The renovation will be done to create a similar look to the French site.
Ansanay-Alex, who has also worked for Christina Onassis and consults on La Sivoliere in Courchevel, began working at Auberge when it was still owned by his father back in 1990; he bought it from him six years later and won his first Michelin star in 1993.
The provincial Auberge is on a small island, L’?le Barbe in Lyon, which was briefly declared autonomous by Jean-Christophe’s father Jean-Luis and three other men.
With an initial investment of 3 million Euros, the business is a joint venture between Ansanay-Alex and moneyman Jean-Michel Aulus, who owns software company CEGID and is president of French football club Olympique Lyonnais.