She will continue to act as chef patron at the group’s Nordic restaurant Aster in Victoria, which opened in 2017, as well as overseeing Skylon on the South Bank.
It marks a return to Skylon for Puolakka, who helped launch the restaurant in 2007 and worked there until 2013.
“Opening Skylon for D&D London was a new platform for me to learn the industry and was extremely valuable for my development for future roles,” says Puolakka.
“You can take the chef out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the chef so when the opportunity arose to bring my concept and style of cooking back to Skylon, I couldn’t resist but go back to the kitchen.”
Puolakka’s 22-year career also includes time as head chef at Pierre Koffmann’s three Michelin-starred La Tante Claire and the three-starred Pierre Gagnaire in Hotel Balzac, Paris.
D&D owns and operates over 30 restaurants worldwide, and is continuing to grow its portfolio.
Its US outpost of Bluebird in New York opens today (17 September), and the group will open a rooftop restaurant in the City of London next spring.