TikTok chef Thomas Straker launches Notting Hill debut

Chef Thomas Straker, a social-media star who built a following of 400,000 during the pandemic, opens his first restaurant this month in London’s Notting Hill. He says Straker’s, in Golborne Road, will be an “epic neighbourhood restaurant with east London wine-bar vibes”.

Thomas, who has worked at Phil Howard’s Elystan Street and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, had a short-term gig as a private chef to a billionaire when the covid lockdown struck, trapping him in a Connecticut mansion for almost four months. He spent his free afternoons making short recipe films for TikTok showing how to make restaurant-quality dishes at home, which proved a huge hit.

The newfound fame led to a book deal – Food You Want to Eat will be published next year – and accelerated Thomas’s plans to open his own restaurant.

He said: “The food will be more refined than what I do [online]. An epic neighbourhood restaurant is what we’re hoping to achieve. I’m keen not to get pigeon-holed into, oh, Tom’s opening an Italian restaurant. I’m not. There are no recipes or rulebooks.”

Dishes will include clams with nduja and basil; potato gnocchi with burnt butter, lemon and parmesan; grilled sea bass with white peach and almonds; and wood-roasted dover sole with courgette fritti.

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