It is the chef’s first solo project since he left Drake’s in Ripley in 2016 after a tenure that saw him hold a Michelin star for 12 years.
Sorrel, which Drake told BigHospitality he hopes will be ‘one of the best restaurants in the country’, was originally set to open in Dorking this spring.
“In my excitement and eagerness to get Sorrel up and running, I was a little overly optimistic, especially in light of the 300-year-old site and the renovations required,” says Drake.
“Once I was given the keys and had more time to explore the building and to see how it would work, my vision changed. We’ve really started from scratch, creating an incredible brand new kitchen and getting all the other details ‘just right’; it all takes time.”
The chef also confirmed that Sorrel’s core team will feature some of his former colleagues from Drake’s.
Richard Giles, ex-senior sous chef at Drake’s, will take on the role of head chef, while Winnie Eckardt will be moving across as restaurant manager.
Italian Sazan Aljija, formerly of two Michelin-starred La Trota and Uliassi, is joining as head sommelier, while former Marriott executive assistant Hilary Perryman is the restaurant's reservations manager.
“I’m extremely pleased with the progress and the team of talent we have working on the project,” says Drake.
“When we open in September we’ll be ready and confident that everything is in place, just as we want it.”