In May Chefs of Tomorrow will be at the famed L’Escargot in Soho; we are really excited to be at this distinctive establishment, a London character in it’s own right!
L’Escargot is housed in a magnificent Georgian town-house dating from 1741. The building was the private residence of the Duke of Portland, At that time Soho was a country area, very popular for horseback hunting – and the name derives from a popular hunting cry of the time – “soohoo”.
In 1896 M. Georges Gaudin established a restaurant at the bottom end of Greek Street called Le Bienvenue. He became famous for his snails and was the first restaurant in England to serve the great delicacy. When in 1927 he moved to larger premises at 48 Greek Street, his customers implored him to rename his restaurant L’Escargot after his most popular dish. He surrendered to them and called the new restaurant L’Escargot Bienvenue. His snail farm in the basement of the new restaurant became quite a talking point. A plaster bust of M. Gaudin riding a snail with the motto “slow but sure” is to this day on display outside the restaurant.
In February 2014 L’Escargot was acquired by Brian Clivaz (of Arts Club, Home House and Langan’s Brasserie) and Laurence Isaacson (co-founder of Chez Gérard) and a group of their friends. The new Head Chef is Oliver Lesnik, formerly of The Connaught working under Michel Bourdin and Angela Hartnett.
Brian Clivaz is a well-known figure in the hotel and restaurant world. His career began at the The Dorchester Hotel working with Anton Mosimann. He trained in Paris at L’Hôtel Plaza Athénée and L’Hôtel Meurice. In 2005 he became MD of The Arts Club and oversaw its transformation into London’s most exclusive and fashionable private members’ club. He is Chairman of Coq d’Or Restaurants owners of Langan’s Brasserie, and a director of L’Escargot Soho.
Stay tuned for an interview with Brian and to meet the May chefs…