The team behind east London’s Bistrotheque restaurant is set to open a temporary restaurant within an art museum next month.
The 120-cover restaurant, the brainchild of Pablo Flack, who set up Bistrotheque with David Waddington in 2004, will be made out of art storage boxes that will be stacked up to 4.6m high to form its walls. One side will then be flipped to allow works of art to be displayed inside the restaurant.
“It’s a way of mixing art and food, and let’s us operate in Mayfair where traditionally it can be quite pricey,” said Bistrotheque’s Head Chef Tom Collins(pictured, centre), who has the job of setting up and staffing the gallery’s kitchen.
He said: “There’s actually no kitchen in the Royal Academy so we are having to build our own one. There are a lot of challenges involved in opening a temporary restaurant. You only have a short period of time to cover costs back, so you’ve got to generate the business to get people in there from the start and you’ve got to make sure it’s fully booked before you open.”
Collins will give a “refined” touch to the bistro-style food he serves at Bistrotheque and will use the experience to try out some new dishes he has been inspired to create following a research trip to California.
"I want to progress and refine the food I usually cook in a bistro environment and, while staying rooted in French and British classicism the menu will be given a contemporary edge inspired by the astonishing lightness of the food I ate in California and the widespread use there of fantastic fresh, local ingredients,” he added.
This is not the first time Bistrotheque has set up a temporary restaurant.
In 2006, the team opened The Reindeer at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane solely for the Christmas season.
Collins said: “The business model can work, but it’s all about being really tight with your budget and being accurate with everything. Things can’t overrun when you’re only operating for two-and-a-half months.”