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another way, reuniting him with DD London,
having worked at Cantina del Ponte when
he � rst moved to the capital. At the time, the
company was still Conran Restaurants.
"I've always been very good friends with
Des and David [Gunewardena and Loewi,
CEO and managing director respectively].
I admired them for what they did. With
respect, the pro� le of DD wasn't as great
[when it was Conran Restaurants] as it is now.
They've done an amazing job. So for me,
leaving L'Anima to go to Mayfair and start
working with these two passionate people, I
think it's a perfect combination."
Mazzei was chef patron at L'Anima for
seven years and last year opened the
casual o shoot L'Anima Café, next door. His
departure from the restaurants that had
made him famous was surprising, but it
seems we're not going to get the full story
behind his leaving any time soon. "After
seven years in the City, I got kind of bored, so
it was a good time for me to go. That's what
I'm allowed to say at the moment."
FULL STEAM AHEAD
D London has a busy autumn ahead, with Sartoria and German Gymnasium due in November,
and revamps all over town. We asked chief executive and chairman Des Gunewardena to tell us more
What's behind all the activity?
We've been quite successful,
we've got money to spend on
new projects. Most are revamps:
Sartoria, Le Pont de la Tour, the
Royal Exchange. We're also redoing
Floridita and relaunching Alcazar in
Paris. And the German Gymnasium
obviously is a very big project.
What about out of London?
We've announced our � rst
restaurant in Scotland and we
have another couple of projects
in legals at the moment. We also
have ambitions to expand in the
Far East, but we're likely to look at
the Middle East � rst.
Will you open more hotels?
South Place has been a big
success and we absolutely have an
ambition to grow a hotel business.
We are looking at opening a
second hotel in London.
What is your relationship with
I've know him for years; I think he's
the best Italian chef in London.
He's a great guy to have around, he
brings energy and ideas to Sartoria.
Is there any truth to the
stories about a otation?
At the moment it's merely a
rumour. I wouldn't rule it out,
but I wouldn't rule it in.
without co ee. "We've got a small counter at
the bar, where we'll have a barista making the
best cappuccino in the world."
By the time he left L'Anima, Mazzei was so
synonymous with the City restaurant that
it's easy to forget he had history in the West
End. He was the opening chef for Jeremy
King and Chris Corbin's short-lived St Alban
in St James's in 2006, and then relaunched
Franco's on Jermyn Street for the Hambros
(the family behind Wiltons).
Sartoria also marks a return for Mazzei in
Le Pont de la Tour