Nottingham chef Laurence Henry is to take the role of chef-patron at a new restaurant as the centrepiece of a £1 billion redevelopment in the city next spring. Henry, who won MasterChef: The Professionals at the age of 25 in 2018, has spent two years planning his first venture at Canal Turn, a three-storey waterside pavilion under construction in Nottingham’s new Island Quarter, the redevelopment of the 36-acre former Boots chemists’ factory that has been derelict for 25 years.
“I’ve been looking for some time for my own restaurant where I can deliver my own style of cooking and be truly creative, and to be able to this in Nottingham – my hometown – is incredible for me,” he said.
In addition to Henry’s signature restaurant on the middle floor, Canal Turn will have a bar, grill and outdoor terrace beside the canal along with an upper-storey open-plan space for events. Interiors throughout have been designed by Macaulay Sinclair, the team behind Dishoom and Hawksmoor.
MasterChef judge Marcus Wareing hailed Henry as “the next generation” at the time of his victory. “Laurence is inventive, creative, and he leaves nothing in the kitchen.” Henry has worked as sous-chef at nearby Restaurant Sat Bains, with stints under the industry’s leading lights including Jason Atherton and Gordon Ramsay also on his CV.
Nottingham is already a gastronomic destination thanks to its stellar chefs Sat Bains and Alex Bond of Alchemilla. Robert Ware, chief executive of Island Quarter developer Conygar, says: “We know this will be strengthened with the addition of Laurence Henry.”