Former Vanilla Black chef to open vegetarian bistro

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

From left to right: Max, Finn, Anne and Tom
From left to right: Max, Finn, Anne and Tom

Related tags: London, Restaurant, Chef, Vegetarian cuisine

Former Vanilla Black sous chef Tom Heale and his partner Anne Stokes are to open a bistro in Peckham next month.

Naïfs’ will focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes, with the cooking embodying elements of fine-dining.

Signature dishes on the launch menu will include koji-roasted celeriac with tomato salsa, remoulade and leaves; potato rosti with smoked apple, mustard and cheese; and an almond and barley ice cream sandwich served with fennel, caramel and blackberries.

The restaurant is a family-run endeavour, with Heale acting as head chef and working alongside his brother Finn.

Heale’s other brother, Max, will manage the restaurant’s drinks selection, which includes and selection of natural and biodynamic wines with suppliers including Les Caves de Pyrene, Modal Wine and Gergovie.

Stokes, meanwhile, who most recently worked for Noble Rot, will oversee Naïfs’ front of house operation.

“This will be a welcoming, family run, neighbourhood restaurant,” says Stokes.

“The word naïfs is an old French word which means naive and conjures the spirit of this project for us.

“It is about newness and greenness, as a metaphor for new growth and of doing things your way and not being constrained by formality.”

Related topics: Venues

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