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Mon 14th Sep 2015 - PizzaExpress working with former Waitrose innovation chef to launch chicken concept
PizzaExpress working with former Waitrose innovation chef to launch chicken concept: PizzaExpress is working with the former Waitrose innovation chef Neil Nugent to launch its rotisserie chicken concept, Reys, in Cambridge next month, occupying the site of the former Cow pub previously operated as a Pizza Bar and Kitchen by Orchid Group. Nugent oversaw the launch of the Heston Blumental range of meals at Waitrose during his three years with the company as executive chef of innovation. The chef, who also co-owned iconic York bistro J. Baker’s for a period, also launched the Gary Rhodes meal range when he worked at Asda as executive innovation chef. His most recent position has been executive chef of product development at Morrison’s. He started his own consultancy, BullDogFish in September 2014. Earlier in his career he worked at Bibendum and Boulestin in London. Nugent told the local newspaper in Cambridge: “We are really looking forward to opening in Cambridge next month as we have always viewed this city as one of the best for casual dining. Together with the known brands, there are some great independents that operate in the proximity of the Corn Exchange, but we will be the only one that focusses whole-heartedly on being dedicated to bringing the best-tasting chicken, cooked in front of the customers on a flame rotisserie. We are confident that once you taste our chicken, covered in Reys BBQ sauce, served with one of our amazing sides, you will have found yourself a new favourite place to eat in Cambridge.” Of the new chicken concept, a job advert states: “As with so many love affairs, it began in Paris, in a traditional café and there, we discovered chicken like we’d never tasted before. From that moment we were on a life mission to find the best way to rear, prepare and present chicken. We experimented with flame-grilling in a tiny Northampton kitchen, we then dug a fire pit in a garden in York and we tried chicken varieties from Cornwall to Carcassonne to discover what makes the best chicken in the world maybe even the universe. This is how we got to where we are now; succulent, flavoursome rotisserie chickens served with an eclectic choice of our personal favourite roasting sauces. Add together some fantastic beers to wash it down with and you have Reys.”

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