Two weeks ago, departing Allen & Delancey chef Neil Ferguson emailed his friends and admirers about his reasons for leaving A&D ("I have strong principles and thoughts on how a restaurant should operate and conduct itself..."), and now he's back at the keyboard addressing his new constituents, the members of the private club, Soho House. A little on his background, the restaurant's poor reputation, and why in the world he would cook at a critic-free restaurant:
"As you may have heard, I recently left Allen and Delancey in the LES to become the Executive Chef at Soho House New York. It’s a position I am very excited about and really look forward to cooking for you in the House.
Just so you know a little about my background…..I spent fifteen years in a number of London restaurants and two years in France before coming to New York as Chef de Cuisine for Gordon Ramsay at The London, before the opportunity to open Allen and Delancey came up. Those of you who ate at the restaurant will already be familiar with my style of cooking. We were lucky enough to be included in his top ten list of 2007 along with being awarded Best New Restaurant in the Time Out Awards and getting One star in the Michelin guide.
As a chef who has been building a reputation in New York, the question has been asked,”Why would I come to Soho House which is not open to the public and free from critics and the food-press?” The answer is simple…..I am all about cooking, and working in a beautiful setting with people I respect, using the freshest possible ingredients. It is my goal to write a menu where diners are torn between choices on the entire menu, not just one or two dishes. I have found all those things at Soho House and as always, what drives me, is making sure our guests always have a great time.
I know that Soho House has always tried to be more than just an adequate club restaurant but it’s reputation has suffered a little in the past. Mark, Charlie, Andrea and the whole management team have been mindful of that and we all hope this is a chance to wipe the slate clean. I started last week and intend to start making changes very soon but it will take a few weeks. Hopefully by then you’ll have tasted some of the ‘changes’ and as always we would welcome your feedback, good and bad, which helps us know more about what you’d like, so we can make Soho House the kind of restaurant which all members will be proud."
· SHOCK: Neil Ferguson Leaves Allen & Delancey, Takes Private Gig at Soho House [~E~]For more stories from Eater, go to eater.com.