The recession had just begun, and chef Nuno Mendes couldn’t invest in a new restaurant – but he had a plan.
His idea was to invite 14 guests to his own home to try a tasting menu and drinks, surrounded by an art exhibition and music.
This may have started as an informal table for friends, but it resulted in The Loft which has become one of the most successful and original underground ventures in London. The Loft became Mendes experimental kitchen, and his guests were the opportunity to try more adventurous menus than those featured in traditional London restaurants.
With the opening of Viajante inside the Town Hall Hotel in 2010, he turned The Loft into a chef’s atelier, calling it The Loft Project, hosting chefs for a day or two. Many big names were cooking and living at The Loft. Top avant-garde chefs presented their tasting menus at The Loft Project: Ola Rudin and Sebastian Persson from Trio, Magnus Nilsson, from Fåviken, Sam Miller, from Noma, Matias Perdomo from Al Pont de Fer, Mauro Colagreco from Mirazur, Yohji Tokuyoshi, from Osteria Francescana, and many others.
The last event in his old house was in October, and a brand new Loft Project will open its doors in 2012.