Highly rated chef cooks up kitchen on a shoestring

French-born Yoann Chevet began his culinary journey at the age of 15 and has dedicated his 20-year career to some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in Paris and London including the triple-Michelin starred Taillevent in Paris, Le Meurice, and La Table de Joël Robuchon.

But recently he decided to branch out on his own, launching ‘Sinabro’ in Battersea Rise with his wife Sujin.

‘Sinabro’ is a word from Sujin’s native Korean, meaning ‘to advance’ or ‘to progress’ — an apt name given that the pair admit to waiting four years for the “perfect premises” and spending several decades between them acquiring the skills to take the next step on their culinary journey.

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The space is intimate, with 28 covers, 16 of which will be at the bar overlooking the open kitchen, eight in a private space at the rear and the remainder on two-seater tables around the bar. Diners seated at the bar of the open kitchen will be able to interact with the chef to find out more about the dish, while watching it being created before their own eyes.

The restaurant will serve what it describes as ‘Bistronomique’, falling somewhere between Bistro and Gastronomique, the root of which it says is French fine dining.

Interestingly, Chevet designed the kitchen lay-out himself, but brought in Hallmark Kitchens to oversee the final plans and install the catering equipment on the recommendation of his previous executive chef, who had worked with the Kent-based distributor in the past. “He gave me some advice and he really helped me a lot as well because he has opened many restaurants,” he explains.

Chevet had a budget of less than £20,000 to pull together the equipment he needed to get the kitchen in place and admits he is satisfied with the outcome.

“Previously the site was a Chinese takeaway, so the only thing we kept was the extraction canopy because it was in good condition,” he says.

Equipment installed in the kitchen includes an undercounter dishwasher and glasswasher, a freezer, a three-door fridge and double-door gastronorm fridge from Inomak and a double-door wine cooler supplied by Blizzard. On the cooking side, the kitchen has a Mareno gas solid top with oven underneath and a griddle pad, as well as a Lincat salamander and Lincat hot cupboard.

The only setback for Chevet was that the manufacturer of the combi oven he chose delivered the wrong model to site, sending a three-phase unit even though the property only has single phase supply.

“We didn’t want to change the date of the opening because one item of equipment wasn’t right, so we started operation without a combi oven,” says Chevet. “If it was the wrong solid top we might have had to [delay it] but we could manage without the combi.”

He says he is delighted with how it all turned out for the price. “We didn’t start with a big budget and we tried to save money as much as we can, but all of the equipment is brand new.”

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