Jeremy King has done more to influence the way Londoners eat than perhaps anyone else in recent history. Along with his long time business partner, Chris Corbin, the entrepreneur has created some of the capital’s best loved and most iconic restaurants — the pair were the early masterminds behind the Ivy in its 90s heyday, and brought the timeless Wolseley to life in 2003.
This spring, Corbin & King opened Soutine, a French-Russian brasserie with an artistic lean, in St John’s Wood. It is the duo’s 14th opening. Here, however, Jeremy tell us how their first — Le Caprice off Piccadilly — was very nearly their last.
At the beginning of the 1980s I’d become friends with Chris Corbin, manager of Langan’s Brasserie. I was at Joe Allen at that time, and we resolved to open a restaurant with the working title of Joe Langan’s.
Chris was approached shortly afterwards by a fashion retailer and designer called Joseph Ettedgui. He said he was interested in opening a restaurant, a bit like a lot of the Parisian fashion houses were doing at the time.
Soon, we embarked upon the idea of Le Caprice together. But even before we opened, we were falling out with the Ettedgui family. We hadn’t fully mapped out our shared aspirations. It became apparent that we had different visions for the restaurant.
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