30 Jan 20
Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia is one of London’s truly great restaurants. Founded in 1991 by restaurateur David Moore, it has consistently attracted the highest awards including one Michelin star in 1993 and a second in 1996. It currently holds one star, with high hopes of winning back its second under 29-year-old Head Chef Asimakis Chaniotis, one of the UK’s most exciting young culinary stars.
Martin Moore have an ongoing relationship with Pied à Terre, which has seen Asimakis cooking for invited audiences in many of their showrooms. His enjoyment of working in these spaces sparked the genesis of a completely new concept at Pied à Terre… A ‘home from home’ kitchen.
David Moore commissioned Martin Moore to design and build a luxurious, comfortable, domestic-scale kitchen upstairs at Pied à Terre, where they can offer unique new experiences, cookery masterclasses, private dining and a more intimate Chef’s Table than anywhere else in London.
“We want people to feel at home” says Pied à Terre’s owner David Moore. “We like doing things differently and it was important to break away from the catering aesthetic. We’ve commissioned a real kitchen, with real furniture, built in wood and stone, not stainless steel.”
Designed by Richard Moore, this highly equipped, ultra-luxurious and intensely practical kitchen intentionally offers just eight seats. In this intimate new setting, Pied à Terre are scheduling hands-on classes, tastings, pop-ups featuring chefs from other leading restaurants, private dining and a wide variety of other experiential events.
The biggest story for foodies is the Thursday, Friday and Saturday ‘Chef’s Table’, with Asimakis himself cooking up to 16 courses for the eight dinner guests.
“We’re offering this exceptional audience with Asimakis” says David Moore, “a close-up chance to experience his creativity and skills in a setting which is his personal domain; essentially, his vision of a perfect home kitchen in which to cook at the highest level for family, friends and corporate clients.”
His inspirational array of high-function domestic Gaggenau appliances includes an induction hob, teppanyaki and sous-vide drawer as well as a column of multi-function ovens and warming drawers. The kitchen also has its own specially commissioned crockery, cutlery and glassware.
Every element of a Martin Moore kitchen is individually designed and built to order in their Yorkshire workshops, giving the designer and client the freedom to start from a blank page. Although the Pied à Terre kitchen may not be as large as many of the open-plan home kitchens designed and built by Martin Moore, it had a very particular set of requirements.
As well as taking detailed technical and aesthetic briefs from both David and Asimakis, Design Director Richard Moore spent time downstairs in the restaurant’s main kitchen, observing and planning both the working ergonomics and countless smaller yet vital details such as clear sight lines for every guest (the mirrored splashback also aids this), dedicated storage for the vast array of specialist cookware and utensils, ultra-comfortable seating with adequate workspace for each of the 8 guests and the ideal colour for the stone worktops which not only defines the central island/group workspace but is the perfect backdrop to showcase the ingredients and technical skills.
David describes Pied à Terre’s offering as “Food of character and artistry. Contemporary but based in classic French cookery.” This chimes with the new Martin Moore kitchen; custom-designed and craftsman-built, it hits a perfect classic contemporary note.
With both fitted and freestanding elements, the furniture draws from Martin Moore’s innovative ‘New Deco’ concept, which blends modernist style with contemporary edge. It emphasises craftsmanship and luxurious natural materials, from gleaming glass and metals to characterful stone. Minimal detailing on the timber cabinetry also suits the necessity of a hard-working restaurant kitchen being easy to clean. (A separate hand-washing area also had to be incorporated into the plan to meet commercial kitchen regulations.)
From velvet to ribbed glass, there are exciting textures throughout in this kitchen. The palette has Nordic inspirations, using warm neutrals highlighted by vivid jewel-bright pops, from the hand-blown Curiousa & Curiousa lights over the island to the lush velvet cushions on the window box seats (with storage beneath). Richard Moore’s design also includes multi-source controllable lighting, allowing the mood to be altered to suit the time of day and the event.
The room now occupied by the kitchen was previously an informal bar with a great hi-fi system and brilliant selection of vinyl. Whilst all else may have changed, the turntable and vinyl are still present, housed in the imposing freestanding dresser/media unit which spans an entire wall. It also frames and backlights a spectacular piece of art glass by the artist Yorgos Papadopoulos.
The collaboration between Pied à Terre and Martin Moore continues. The next project is Phase II of the upstairs refurbishment, transforming an area adjacent to the new kitchen into a spectacular new wine tasting room, also designed by Richard Moore.
A number of like-minded companies collaborated on this exciting project:
Appliances: Gaggenau is renowned for providing an environment in which culinary culture thrives and partners with a select number of Chef Patrons who share the same inspirations and passions.
Pendant Lights: Martin Moore and Curiousa & Curiousa have worked together for a number of years as they share a number of synergies - handmade craftmanship and British manufacturing - with their jewel-like quality and beautiful colours adding the final touch to the kitchens.
Worktops: Casesarstone is a concept and lifestyle-driven company with customer-centred approach to designing high-end engineered quartz surfaces with longevity and durability so this was an ideal choice for this busy, bespoke kitchen.
Sinks: Started 100 years ago, Franke is known for its uncompromising quality and attention to detail.
Tap: The indispensable tool for a busy kitchen where precision is key, the Quooker tap instantly dispenses hot, cold and boiling water.
Stools: Kraft paper is twisted around metal wire and then woven to create these unique, durable and exceptionally comfortable Vincent Sheppard stools whose classic understated design enhance rather than dominate the space.