Masterchef winner to open new restaurant at Island Quarter

Laurence Henry outside the Canal Turn, which is under construction
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Laurence Henry, the well-known Nottingham chef and former MasterChef winner, has been named chef patron at Canal Turn – the new restaurant and entertainment space currently being built at The Island Quarter.

Henry won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2018 when he was just 25. He has since been in talks with Conygar, developer of The Island Quarter, for more than two years with ambitions to put down roots in his hometown. He has been at the forefront of the planning process for the restaurant space which has been designed by Nottingham specialist interiors firm Macaulay Sinclair.

Henry will operate and oversee the food offering at Canal Turn – which will have venues spanning three storeys and opens in Spring 2022.

He said: “To be involved in this exciting new venue in Nottingham is absolutely fantastic and I am so pleased I can now shout about it. I have been looking for some time for my own restaurant where I can deliver my own style of cooking and be truly creative, and do be able to this in Nottingham – my hometown – is incredible for me.

“I have been able to be involved of the development of the restaurant and bar space from the very beginning. Working with Conygar has been fantastic because they have given me the freedom to create and evolve the project in my own direction which is incredibly rare – and because of this, it gives me the chance to present a guest experience unique to Nottingham and the Midlands.”

The middle ground level of Canal Turn will be Henry’s signature restaurant. The upper events level is a large, open plan space with capacity for 200 people.

Conygar will be announcing the names of the venues within Canal Turn “in due course”, with Henry part of the decision-making process. The names will reflect Nottingham’s history.

Robert Ware, CEO of Conygar, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce Laurence as operator of Canal Turn. We have been working really closely with him for a while now and are now delighted to announce our partnership with him.

“Laurence is a well-known chef nationally and particularly in and around Nottingham; in part because of his winning BBC’s MasterChef 2018. We know that Laurence will make this venue his own with his unique style. Nottingham is on the map because of its Michelin star restaurants and we know that this will be strengthened with the addition of Laurence Henry.”

Henry said: “I am keen to take advantage of my MasterChef win and build on my reputation and that of the venues to make a huge success of Canal Turn. It is the first phase of The Island Quarter and I can’t wait to get started on this exciting new adventure.”

The 2018 MasterChef judge Marcus Wareing said: “He is inventive, creative and he leaves nothing behind in the kitchen. In my opinion he is the next generation.”