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Wed 11th Apr 2018 - Leon to launch Thai food brand, Martin Morales to open London’s first Peruvian bakery
Leon to launch first Thai fast food restaurant: Leon has announced the launch of a Thai fast food pop-up Tuk Shop – a joint venture with Bangkok-based food group Aylmer Aaharn. The restaurant will debut this spring in an existing Leon in Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s Soho. Working with a team of chefs from Bangkok, Leon has developed every dish on the Tuk Shop menu to combine a love of Thai food with its love of fast food. True to Thai cuisine, Tuk Shop will deliver a host of classics including aromatic curries, noodles, rice dishes and salads, plus some dishes that will be newer to UK guests. Tuk Shop marries Leon’s mission to make it easier for everyone to eat well, and Aylmer Aaharn’s commitment to share true Thai cuisine and culture. Leon co-founder John Vincent said: “Over the past 15 years I have been fortunate enough to experience the culture and flavours of Thailand first-hand. And fortunate too to meet and learn from David Thompson (founder of Aylmer Aaharn), whose chefs have worked hard to make this happen. I hope in the long run Tuk Shop will allow everyone in the UK to experience the joy of this food. In the meantime you will have to come to Shaftesbury Avenue – grab a spoon and ‘tuk’ in.”

Martin Morales to open London’s first Peruvian bakery alongside new restaurant: Ceviche founder Martin Morales is to launch London’s first Peruvian bakery next month. Morales is opening Andina Panaderia in Westbourne Grove alongside a new restaurant, Andina Picanteria. Located side by side, Andina Panaderia and Andina Picanteria will pay homage to the female Andean chefs who have inspired Morales and his team since opening Ceviche. Andina Panaderia will specialise in slow-ferment baking with traditional sweet and savoury pastries and bread alongside hot dishes, lunchtime salads and all-day brunch-style dishes to eat in or take away. A selection of Peru’s finest coffe and tea will be available as well as Andina’s smoothies and juices. The open-plan space will be a contemporary take on an Andina bakery. Andina Panaderia will also shine a light on pottery and provide a space for London and Peruvian makers to retail their works through a series of month-long collaborations and talks. Next door will be the 40-cover Andina Picanteria. The restaurant will be an ode to the Peruvian picanterias, the family-run, roadside restaurants that form the culinary hub of the community across the 11 regions of the Peruvian Andes. The new menu will comprise small plates such as sivinche, an ancient take on ceviche made with yellow fin tuna, trout roe and popped kiwicha, and a purple corn tamal with choclo corn succotash and sweet kale pesto. Bigger dishes such as olluco potato locro, an authentic Andean-style stew with broad beans and roast pumpkin, will also take their place on the menu. Echoing the traditional picanteria, the space will have an open kitchen lined with rough granite stone surfaces and a home-style chef’s table. Morales said: “I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the bakeries of the Andes. I was just six years old and after an eight-hour journey up through the mountains, we arrived at Santiago de Chuco, my gran’s village, to be greeted by the enticing aromas of fresh bread and pastries. My team and I have been travelling across the regions of the Andes meeting bakers, cooks, farmers and learning new recipes and techniques, which we can’t wait to bring to London.” Ceviche managing director Raquel Oliveira added: “We first introduced the flavours of the Andes to London in 2014 and over the years we’ve been busy travelling back to Peru discovering more about the traditions of the women-led picanterias. At Andina Picanteria we will be perfecting ancient techniques previously unseen in London and delving deeper into the rich culinary history of the Andes. We look forward to giving our new friends and neighbours in west London a typically warm Peruvian welcome.” 

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