Ben Spalding to turn Stripped Back and No Rules into 'huge brands' and open restaurant

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Chef Ben Spalding says he now feels ready to launch a permanent site after learning what does and doesn't work through a host of events, such as No Rules and Stripped Back
Chef Ben Spalding says he now feels ready to launch a permanent site after learning what does and doesn't work through a host of events, such as No Rules and Stripped Back
Chef Ben Spalding is planning on turning his pop-up ventures No Rules and Stripped Back into 'huge brands' while continuing to find a site for a permanent restaurant that he hopes will 'change London's dining scene'. 

Spalding, who left Roganic in 2012​ after almost 10 years working in Michelin-starred kitchens, has spent the last 18 months establishing Creative Belly, the business responsible for running the events No Rules and Stripped Back. 

Following a busy year, which has seen him cook for hundreds of diners at Stripped Back at locations such as Street Feast​ and Brighton beach and hold a number of private No Rules events, the chef says he is now ready to turn both concepts into 'huge brands in their own right' as well as find a permanent site for his own restaurant. 

"After I left Roganic I wanted to appeal to a broader market and develop myself as a chef so I created Creative Belly and started the Stripped Back events," he told BigHospitality. 

"I've realised as time's gone on what does work and I've got to the point where I need to look at turning it into a big brand."

Stripped Back

A number of dates have already been secured for the next round of Stripped Back, with the Star of Kings pub at Kings Cross the next confirmed location until May. It will be the first time the refined street food concept has operated under a roof, but Spalding says it allows him to take the idea to more people without relying on good weather. 

Stripped Back Menu
Spalding's Stripped Back events challenge the status quo in dining with diners given eight or nine servings rather than courses

"When we started Stripped Back I was cooking out of two suitcases and charging people £27.50 for four courses," he said. "It was all outdoors and people sat on plastic stools, so we could only hold it when the weather was good. This way I can reach more people and show them what I'm about." 

For his latest Stripped Back Spalding has established a set price of £36 per person, which includes eight or nine servings, with 26 covers the maximum for each sitting.

"We have a room in the pub that's still not too formal. We are kind of bridging the gap between supper clubs and restaurants. I've spent a lot of time getting it right and people know me and what to expect from me now, so hopefully they'll enjoy the creative menu. It's an exciting step." 

Permanent restaurant

Spalding said he had not given up plans to find a site for a permanent restaurant, but had taken his time to 'get it right'.

The chef has recently teamed up with front-of-house manager Sylvain Acolas to find a restaurant in central London where the pair plan to provide an innovative all-day creative dining concept which could host DJ nights in the evening and special events. 

"It's great to be working with Sylvain," he said. "He's been looking for sites for the last month and we are underway, but we want to get the right place in the right location and it's important to have the right team in place too. We are not just going to jump into it. When we open we want to really change the dining scene." 

The chef is also continuing to hold his No Rules events, which sees him persuade diners to try dishes using ingredients they don't like and work on a number of consultancy projects. He will also be a judge and mentor in this year's Hot Talent competition, supported by BigHospitality and Restaurant magazine. 

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