Silvena Rowe quits Quince for TV and new restaurant project

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New restaurant, Chef

Silvena Rowe is planning to replicate some of Jamie Oliver's success by combining a TV career with a new business
Silvena Rowe is planning to replicate some of Jamie Oliver's success by combining a TV career with a new business
Silvena Rowe has quit her role as chef-patron at Quince to focus on building her TV career and start up a new restaurant business. 

The Bulgarian-born chef told BigHospitality that after two years it was time to leave the restaurant at the May Fair hotel she had helped set up to give her time to concentrate on TV and explore her plans to set up a chain of restaurants serving Turkish and Mediterranean food. 

"Quince was a wonderful collaboration, but I have got some exciting plans I want to pursue, so it's time to leave. It's going to be a little bit of a risk, but it needs to be done," she said.

Rowe, who has been a regular on Saturday Kitchen and has written numerous cookbooks, will grace our TV screens in April with the airing of Country Show Cook Off on BBC Two where celebrity chefs will compete in specialist food shows across the country.

"I'm really excited about Country Show Cook Off which celebrates British cuisine and small producers, "said Rowe. "There is also the possibility of me being in another TV show with someone pretty amazing, but I can't reveal much more about that yet."

Restaurant business

While Rowe said she was keen to build up her TV profile over the next year, she also intended to keep cooking commercially with the creation of a new restaurant concept. 

"I really want to replicate the Jamie Oliver phenomenon by being on TV and setting up a business. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious," she said. "I still intend to cook. I was cooking full time at Quince and I don't want to stop, but this way will give me more time to focus on what I want." 

The chef, who counts herself as one of a handful of females to have made it to the position of head chef, said she was currently in talks with investors about backing her idea to build a small casual-dining  restaurant group that would celebrate Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean food. 

"I am looking for a couple of sites in London, but I am also looking outside the UK," she said. "Ideally I'd like to start with two sites and see what happens.

"It is very difficult to come up with something completely new and unique today. However, there is still space for a restaurant group that takes inspiration from Turkey - after all, people forget that Turkey is the most visited nation by Brits and this appeal is only going to get stronger and stronger. It will take a bit of time to get it right, but I think it could work." 

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