|Jamie Oliver Coming to Chiswick|
High Road's 'French Kitchen' to be new venue for celebrity chef
Jamie Oliver is coming to Chiswick. His newest venture, Union Jacks is set to open on the French Kitchen (formerly Villandry) site on the High Road next March.
The first Union Jacks only opened a few weeks ago in Holborn. The restaurant concept is to marry wood-fired flatbreads with traditional British flavours, with an emphasis on British growers, farmers, and winemakers. The arrival of the high-profile television chef has created a buzz around W4 for some weeks and speculation had reached fever pitch. One local restauranteur said the high rents in the location meant only someone of Oliver's celebrity and resources would be able to open there.
A spokesman for Jamie Oliver confirmed that the award-winning chef had been looking for a venue in Chiswick for some time.
Union Jacks is a collaboration with American chef Chris Bianco. The two chefs share a passion for using local produce and cooking in wood-fired ovens. Chris Bianco, originally from the Bronx in New York, is head chef and owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix which regularly draws long queues of diners for his wood-fired creations.
On a visit to the UK two years ago, Chris fell in love with the markets, pubs and shops around Britain and decided to stay and work with Jamie Oliver to create Union Jacks. The restaurant combines Chris's artisan dough-making with Jamie Oliver's love of top-quality ingredients and intends to showcase British produce.
Chiswick would be the second venue for Oliver's new restaurant chain - the first outlet of Union Jacks opened this month at the Central Giles development in Holborn on a 500,000sq ft mixed-use development designed by famous architect Renzo Piano.
In addition to Union Jacks, Central St Giles will feature nine other restaurants including operators such as Peyton and Byrne and Zizzi.
The chef's existing chain, Jamie's Italian, reported a soar in profits of 181% in 2010 as the company continued to expand its rustic Italian food offer across Britain. Jamie's Italian, which was first launched in 2008, reported pre-tax profits of £4.65m in the 12 months to 2 January 2011, with turnover up 145% to £47.62m.
The business currently operates 18 restaurants across the UK and plans to grow to 25 outlets by the end of this year.