Allan Pickett, whose well-regarded Fitzrovia restaurant Piquet closed last year after just 12 months in business, has been hired as executive chef by the Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre overlooking the Thames in Southwark.
The Swan, a couple of minutes’ walk from the Borough Market foodies hub, was refurbished a year ago and has wonderful views across the river to the City skyline, but the latest Harden’s Survey notes persistent complaints about its “ordinary food”.
Pickett, who takes over the kitchen next month, may be just the chef to address this problem. His restaurant — the first under his own name — pleased the critics and was shortlisted in the Harden’s London Restaurant awards in September just as it closed. Perhaps the venue, a windowless basement just off Oxford Street, lacked appeal to diners.
As a chef, Pickett is grounded in the classical French techniques he acquired over 20 years working in various London kitchens for the Roux and Galvin brothers. He also has a more contemporary enthusiasm for British ingredients from his native Kent, and for foraging and pickling.
“It’s great to be back on the London restaurant scene and I felt Swan was a perfect fit,” he said.
Food is served in the Swan’s ground-floor bar from breakfast through to dinner, while the first-floor restaurant offers a Midsummer Night’s Dream afternoon tea as well as a three-course pre-theatre menu for £24.50.