Des Digest: The First Bite

April was a busy month for the Des McDonald team.

Along with Lee Bull (Executive Chef) and Paul McKenna (Operations Manager), I traveled to Tokyo for final research and chinaware buying for my latest opening Rofuto.

In Toyko we stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel with skyline views similar to those at Rofuto. The hotel had incredible staff and service and flying first class British Airways which is always a pleasure and treat, if you have not traveled to Japan I strongly recommend it, please feel free to email me for recommendations on restaurants at

This month, as mentioned, we opened Rofuto (meaning loft) at 16th floor of the new Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham. It was a fantastic opening, really well received, my team led by Tim Davey and Pedro Miranda doing a great job there and it’s well worth a visit when you are in Birmingham.

Industry experts-CLIENTS- rofuto

We also helped this month with the opening of the Hemsley + Hemsley Cafe at the Body Studio in Selfridges, a really fun project working with the sisters on the healthy eating project.

The team are busy working on various new projects namely MeatUp in Wandsworth Town, with a menu celebrating British BBQ and cocktails.  It’s on track to open in mid June, so do come to the soft opening, email me for details at

We travelled to Paris to meet my new clients Mr Laurent and Thierry Gardinier, owners of Taillevent Paris where we had talks and agreements on how we will work together on their fantastic offspring, 110 Taillevent in Cavendish Square here in London.

Eating and travel this month, other than above, I managed to get to my house in Elveria Spain for a long weekend of golf with some mates and had some great dinners at my favourite spot Casanis.

Down at Eastbourne for my daughter Emily’s 19th birthday (she studying at uni in Brighton) I stayed at my usual Eastbourne Grand with its good old fashion charm.  We also enjoyed a Champagne breakfast at Bill’s and dinner at 64 degrees Brighton – well worth a visit when in the area.

And finally closer to home the team at Vintage Salt in Upper Street celebrate 3 years at that site, do pop along to my first solo restaurant for a glass of Champagne and help us toast the next 3.

Whether you are looking for help and guidance in developing your own restaurant idea, assistance finding the perfect site, help to recruit, train and motivate your team or are looking to give a maturing business a new boost please do get in touch for an informal coffee and a chat on 07712624825.

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