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In London with Hywel Jones
Chef de Cuisine of Lola's Restaurant.
featured chefshywel jones

To many Jones's departure may have seemed contrived - making a move on the crest of a star laced wave, but in reality it was coincidental. Jones had been working on a restaurant deal for several months prior to gaining his star. David Nicholls had been fully aware and supportive of Jones's entrepreneurial desires; his star had come just as he signed on the dotted line - an added but slightly awkward bonus.

Lola's Restaurant - a recycled Victorian tram station has become Jones's new culinary home. Located in Islington, the restaurant has long been considered a neighborhood eatery, but now with Jones presiding behind the stove, owner Morfudd Richards has catapulted her restaurant into the dining super league. Jones has captured himself a directorship with the possibility of becoming a partner in the future.

The real winners in this story are the Londoners who can sample the likes of Rare seared tuna, smoked aubergine, anchovy beignets, ratatouille vinaigrette followed by Roast rump of Welsh lamb, cannelloni of slow cooked shoulder, piquillo pepper, jus gras - all at incredibly reasonable prices. Dinner averages around 32 [$45] and a three-course preset lunch (two choices per course) weighs in at only 18.50 [$27.50]. So far the feedback has been nothing but positive, scoring great reviews from The Independent and Time Out. Within the first few week of starting his own menu The Evening Standard's Fay Maschler reviewed Lola's. Maschler a sometimes venomous food critic who can make or break a chef's reputation, fill or empty a restaurant described his cooking as brilliant, awarding him three stars - its highest accolade.

So will he be the headline-making chef of the future? Absolutely. My feeling is that Hywel Jones is the chef to watch out for - London 's next culinary star. He has the foundations and attitude to go the distance. As he increases his kitchen team, his food will blossom, the focus on quality will also transcend into the dining room. Lola's crockery, glasses, private dining room and furnishings are ear marked for upgrades, providing the "goods" for the guest and maybe Michelin star or two for the chef. I will be the first to say that we used to prep veg together back in the day!

The Mall
359 Upper Street
London N1 0PD
Tel: 0171 359 1932

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