TEMPERAMENTAL chef Marco Pierre White has officially opened his latest eatery in Newcastle.
The enigmatic cook – and former star of TV’s Hell’s Kitchen show – did the honours for his first North East venue yesterday.
The restaurant that bears his name is located in the Indigo Hotel in the city’s Fenkle Street, next to the Assembly Rooms.
As Mr White reacquainted himself with his cooking team, he said the city “was among the great eating food venues” in the United Kingdom. “The city is very good for food,” he said. “I think it is going to improve, it is a wonderful city.
“I hate pretense in cooking,” he added, “I prefer straightforwardness and the Geordies have that.
“I’m very confident the Newcastle restaurant will do well because Geordies know what they like.”
The famous Eagle Star House in Newcastle’s Fenkle Street was chosen to house the hotel and restaurant in order to tap into the city’s growing reputation as a cultural hot-spot.
The Hotel Indigo group prides itself on targeting great cities, and already operates in Shanghai in China, Athens in Greece and New York, USA.
Group bosses say they were drawn to Newcastle by its vibrance and architectural beauty.
The £20m hotel’s Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill has a menu designed by the Michelin-starred chef who personally hired the catering staff. The148-bed, four-star complex has also created 70 jobs for local workers.
Matt Castelli has been appointed by Mr White as the restaurant’s executive head chef, with Tyneside-born George Liddle taking the reins as restaurant and bar manager.
The venue has a non-residents’ bar, the Grainger Lounge, which offers a regionally-inspired menu.
The hotel includes 20 suites, some providing views of the Tyne Bridge and the Sage Gateshead.
Indigo, a brand owned by Intercontinental Hotels, the world’s biggest hotel firm, will be run by Sanguine Hospitality. The NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which promotes Tyneside to tourists all over the world, has backed the project.