Niall Keating to launch restaurant near Stoke-on-Trent

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Whatley Manor chef Niall Keating to launch Lunar restaurant near Stoke-on-Trent

Related tags: Niall Keating, Fine dining, Chefs

Whatley Manor chef Niall Keating is to launch a restaurant close to his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent late next month that will 'celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Potteries and the industrial revolution'.

Due to launch on 25 November, Lunar will be run in conjunction with The Great British Experience Company (TGBEC) and will be located within Wedgwood's Barlaston pottery. 

Described as a 'modern dining experience' Lunar will be 'progressive and creative' and inspired by Korean, Japanese and French cuisine. 

'A passion for sustainability' will also encourage strong environmental and ethical standards across the supply chain and throughout the restaurant, which takes its name from the Lunar Society, a supper club for the Midlands enlightenment, of which Josiah Wedgwood was a founding member.

Craig Wilkinson and Ed Myhill of TGBEC with Niall wanted to celebrate the rich legacy that Josiah Wedgwood and his fellow ‘Lunatics’ began over 200 years ago.

Membership included many forward thinkers, entrepreneurs, scientists, philosophers, poets and inventors.

Niall Keating has been executive chef at Whatley Manor in Wiltshire for the past five years,​ where The Dining Room holds two Michelin stars.

Prior to that, he quickly climbed the culinary ranks by working in renowned kitchens across the world – including Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, Benu in San Francisco, and Kong Hans Kælder in Copenhagen where he was head chef.

“I’m incredibly passionate about Staffordshire, its rich heritage and amazing local produce,” Keating says. “To have the opportunity to celebrate that whilst paying homage to the potteries, all ten minutes from my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, is a dream come true.”

Although Niall will oversee the 120-cover restaurant, the kitchen will be run day-to-day by head chef Craig Lunn. Having known each other for over a decade, Niall and Craig have worked together in various kitchens, including at Whatley Manor, while Craig also has experience at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. 

Dishes on Lunar's launch menu will include wild mushroom congee with sea herbs; tempura pumpkin with tamarind and chilli; grilled langoustine with wasabi and cucumber; Staffordshire clay-baked chicken with treasured rice; and Poached lemon sole with nashi pear and yuzu kosho.

The Great British Experience Company was forged during the pandemic by local friends Wilkinson and Myhill, who have worked on events all over the world.

Upon their return to Staffordshire, they decided to bring their skills and experiences back to their home county, and have partnered on the Lunar project with Keating, who is a 'major' shareholder.

Related topics: Restaurant

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