Marcus Wareing gets behind Aalto Restaurant at Birmingham’s new Hotel La Tour

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Gordon ramsay, Marcus wareing

Head chef Alex Penhaligon (left) will ovesee day-to-day operations at Aalto Restaurant, while Wareing (right) will take up an advisory role
Head chef Alex Penhaligon (left) will ovesee day-to-day operations at Aalto Restaurant, while Wareing (right) will take up an advisory role
Internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing is to be the vision behind Aalto Restaurant at Hotel La Tour when it opens in Birmingham next month, BigHospitlity has learnt.

Wareing will work with the hotel in an advisory role, consulting on the food and beverage offerings, devising menu concepts and assisting with the recruitment and training of kitchen staff.

Jane Schofield, managing director of Hotel La Tour, said: "We're very proud that one of the brightest stars in British cooking has chosen to work with us, and we're excited to open our bookings to welcome our first diners at the end of March.

“Marcus has been achieving Michelin Stars since 1997 and is well-known to the British public through his success on the BBC's Great British Menu programme, where he won the honour of cooking for the Queen at her 80th birthday banquet.

“He's also well known for his dedicated and perfectionist approach to cooking and hospitality, with an infectious passion for food and excellence which make him a perfect partner for Hotel La Tour.”

New head chef

The 80-cover restaurant will offer a modern twist on English classics. Day-to-day operations at Aalto will be overseen by newly-appointed head chef Alex Penhaligon, who brings with him extensive experience in the four- and five-star hotel market, primarily in London.

He said: "Our emphasis will be on creating flavoursome, classic dishes with a modern twist, freshly produced on site. Where possible we'll also be sourcing interesting additions to our menu from artisan producers and we know our diners will relish the opportunity to sample the best the region has to offer.”

The hotel will also feature the Café Erza coffee shop, while the additional Alvar Bar will serve bar snacks, catering for an 60 guests.

"The pure diversity we're going to be offering our customers - through Aalto Restaurant, Alvar Bar plus our coffee shop - will mark us out as different,” added Penhaligon.

This is the first venture outside of London for Wareing, who will continue to run the kitchen at The Berkeley and oversee operations at his most recent restaurant, The Gilbert Scott at Marriott’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

Hotel La Tour

Last week, Hotel La Tour’s manager Schofield told BigHospitality of her plans with the 174-bedroom hotel, also revealing that the Group hopes to open a further five properties over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the hotel has welcomed the news that Birmingham has recorded its highest hotel occupancy rates in four years. November crowned a highly successful six months, reaching 74 per cent, with average hotel occupancy for July to December 2011 reaching 64 per cent – two per cent higher than the same period during the previous year.

"This news is particularly positive as we near opening at the end of March,” added Schofield. “Location is key to us - Birmingham has an enviable location in the centre of the UK with great accessibility.”

Aalto restaurant will open on the same day as the hotel in the last week of March, although dining during the hotel’s first week is by invitation only.

Related topics: People, Restaurants, Hotels, Venues, Business

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