Atul Kochhar leaves Colony; renews plans for Atul’s Kitchen

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Indian street food, Restaurant, Food

Atul Kochhar has reignited plans to launch Atul's Kitchen
Atul Kochhar has reignited plans to launch Atul's Kitchen
Atul Kochhar, the chef owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Benares, has severed his relationship with mid-market Indian street food restaurant Colony Bar & Grill in Marylebone, just 15 months after it opened.

Kochhar opened Colony with First Restaurant Group co-founder Carlo Spetale in February last year as a bar-led dining concept​, serving a range of traditional Indian street food dishes with a British twist.

However the chef has now decided to part ways with Colony and Spetale completely, claiming he had become too far removed from the business for his liking.

“When I first got into the business I thought both of us were going to manage it - but it turned out he wanted to manage it alone,” Kochhar told BigHospitality. “I explained my ambition for Colony and he said it wasn’t possible. I don’t like doing things that are not in my control; that’s not my way of running a business. So I said okay, good luck, and I moved on.

“It was an amicable split,” he added.

Atul’s Kitchen

With Colony behind him, Kochhar will now focus on realising Atul’s Kitchen, the mid-market Indian concept he originally planned for Westfield London​ but pulled at the last minute due to economic pressures.

The concept will offer affordable British-Indian cuisine similar to that offered at the Benares pop-up restaurant currently running at D&D London’s Meza.

Kochhar confirmed that while the economic pressures he experienced previously have not disappeared, he is actively looking for a medium-sized, central London site with a high footfall.

“I’m not a financial expert but what I hear is that we’re still not out of the deep trouble yet. However I’m confident that we can deal with it so I want to move on. If a suitable site comes along I’ll take it.

"The food I’m currently doing at Meza is entirely what I’d do in Atul’s Kitchen, and it’s been a huge success. It has restored my confidence that the concept I made was absolutely right and is something that has got strength."

In December 2008 Kochhar revealed plans to roll out five Atul’s Kitchens in five years​, however the chef has now decided to develop the concept slowly.

“I would like to walk before I run,” he said.

Kochhar also operates two additional fine dining restaurants, Vatika in Southampton and Ananda in Dublin.

Related topics: People, Restaurants, Venues

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