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Top 50 Gastropubs chef lends expertise to London wine bar

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Harris (left) and his popular slip sole dish
Harris (left) and his popular slip sole dish

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Stephen Harris, the chef patron and Shepherd Neame tenant of Top 50 Gastropubs winner, the Sportsman, is lending his culinary expertise to upcoming London wine bar and restaurant, Noble Rot.

The 70-cover bar on Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, is the brainchild of Mark Andrew and Daniel Keeling, who have run the eponymously named wine magazine Noble Rot for the past two years.

The site’s kitchen will be run by head chef Paul Weaver, who previously worked at the Sportsman and Fergus Henderson’s St John Bread & Wine in London, with Harris overseeing menu design and training members of Noble Rot’s kitchen team.

Wine lover’s dream

Harris said: “Andrew and Keeling really know their stuff – it will be a wine lover’s dream, they’re very serious about it. With a lot of wine bars the food is a second thought, but here I think they really want to push it up the agenda.

“Weaver and I are going through the menu and recipes and training a couple of the chefs – I’ll be up there for the first couple of weeks making sure everything runs smoothly then after that I’ll be there once a week.”

Consultancy

He added: “I don’t know whether ‘executive chef’ is the right term, I think it’s a consultancy but a bit more than most consultancies because it’s going to be all my recipes and my chefs that are trained here.

“These chefs that I’m putting in, I think they will rip it up, I don’t think there will be any problems. They have all the energy and the talent.

“They just need somebody like me – a bit older and a bit duller – to lead them in a certain direction.”

‘Little twists’

Harris said the menu was still being worked on and would feature “little twists on dishes you might have at the Sportsman”.

It would include a take on his well-known slip sole dish, but with smoked salt butter instead of seaweed butter, he revealed.

He and the Noble Rot team were also working on a dish called oysters Raveneau, which he said should taste “like a glass of Chablis”.

The bar is tentatively set to open this November.

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