A former sous chef at the Fat Duck is to open his first solo restaurant in Conwy later this year.
Nick Rudge worked at Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, for seven years before moving home to Wales after he was furloughed during the pandemic in 2020.
He started his own takeaway business from his parent's kitchen, which proved so successful he is now opening a standalone site.
The restaurant is named the Jackdaw, or jac-y-do in Welsh. It will open above the old Palace Cinema in the town and seat 30 guests each service rather than turning tables, which Rudge said was to allow diners to relax.
The Jackdaw will open Wednesday to Sunday and offer an a la carte and seven-course tasting menu using seasonal and local produce.
"[There are] Conwy mussels literally around the corner and amazing meat farmed with love and passion up in the Conwy and Denbighshire Valleys," said Rudge.
His brother Dan and dad John, who was a joiner, have built a bar which will be used to serve cocktails and drinks for a small lounge area seating four guests before or after their meal.
Rudge has stopped selling his Jackdaw At Home meals to focus on the restaurant but said he would "definitely" resume the takeaways in the event of another lockdown.
The chef told The Caterer he is still recruiting for front of house team members but hopes to open the Jackdaw next month. "I'm aiming for the beginning of October, there have been a few delays and set backs already, but I'm very keen we can make that date," he said.
Rudge trained at Llandrillo College in Rhos on Sea and was part of the team which temporarily moved the Fat Duck to Melbourne, Australia, for eight months in 2015 during the Bray restaurant's refurbishment.