Independent Restaurateur of the Year

08 July 2004
Independent Restaurateur of the Year

Sponsored by Brakes

Nigel Platts-Martin

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Nigel Platts-Martin is not a man who courts publicity. You will not see his face on any reality TV show or smiling out from a cookery book cover. You're unlikely even to read any interviews with him in the press, and his name would probably draw little recognition from the general public.

Step into the world of hospitality, however, and his name is instantly recognised as one synonymous with quality, consistency and innovation. "Nigel Platts-Martin is a fantastic operator," said writer Simon Wright, a former editor of the AA Restaurant Guide. "As an example of how to do simple things really well, you can't beat him."

Above all else it was the consistency of Platts-Martin's offering that this year's judges felt deserved the trophy. Despite stiff competition and fierce debate, every judge spoke out in admiration of the man who has produced four incredibly successful and individual <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>

London restaurants. "I don't think Nigel's restaurants have ever been criticised. His consistency is astounding," commented front-of-house guru Dominic Ford. Hotelier Robin Hutson said: "My last meal at the Square was some of the best food I've ever eaten,"Platts-Martin has developed a collection of four high-quality London restaurants: the Square in Mayfair, La Trompette in Chiswick, Chez Bruce in Wandsworth and the Glasshouse in Kew. All display what the judges agreed was an enviable consistency of standards and award-winning cuisine. Two of the four restaurants have one Michelin star while the Square has two. Three of the restaurants hold three AA rosettes and one holds two. But the restaurants are not merely the domain of highbrow food critics. A quick search of the web and food guides reveals a real enthusiasm for the food, wine, atmosphere and design of these establishments. In recognition of this, the four restaurants also received seven nominations and two awards at this year's Tio Pepe London Restaurant Awards. Chez Bruce was recognised with the London Restaurant Academy Award of Excellence and La Trompette received best wine list. And it doesn't stop there. Not content with enjoying the success he has already achieved, Platts-Martin continues to innovate. A much-awaited new opening is expected early next year in what was formerly Notting Hill's Dakota… and one suspects more will inevitably follow. Yet the man himself still shies away from the spotlight and it was for this reason he was again praised by the judges. "Nigel's contribution to the industry has been through allowing his people to do the job in hand," said chef and restaurateur Paul Heathcote. "He has found the formula of finding good people and letting them excel."
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