When it comes to world flavours, there’s one name that crops up again and again in Nottingham. From the successful sushi popup Nakama to fine dining restaurant Six at Trent Bridge, renowned chef Paul Thacker has been behind some of the city’s most mouthwatering menus.
Now, he’s working his magic in the kitchens at Lakeside and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.
It’s 25 years since Paul first picked up his chef’s apron and after stints at the Hilton and the iconic Fashion Café, he had the opportunity to join the team launching the first Chino Latino restaurant, in the Park Plaza hotel on Maid Marion Way.
Opened in 2002, Chino Latino was modelled heavily on London’s groundbreaking Asia de Cuba, generally regarded as the original ‘fusion’ concept restaurant. It brought a unique style of Far Eastern and Japanese cuisine to Nottingham alongside a Latino-styled bar, which many say revolutionised the city’s dining scene.
Talking about that time, Paul said, “I was already a huge fan of Asian flavours and cuisines and joining Chino Latino represented this amazing opportunity to use the British cooking techniques with which I was familiar, with the Asian flavours that I loved. It was the chance of a lifetime.”
Joining as junior sous chef, Paul had the privilege of working with sushi chef Jimmy Nakamura, formerly of Nobu, who mentored him and helped hone his passion for pan-Asian food. Quickly promoted to head chef, he spent the next 15 years making his name with the restaurant chain, becoming development chef and finally executive chef.
“I oversaw the opening of Chino Latino in London, Leeds and Germany, developing menus and dishes for each location. I loved it but there was a lot of travelling and when my family came along it was time to head back to Nottingham and make that my base,” he said.
“I’ve worked in Nottingham all my life, it’s my home turf and where I want to be.”
Paul then joined contemporary British restaurant and bar Six at Trent Bridge, working with Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers, before moving to the Tap and Run, the gastropub owned by cricketers Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney. In the midst of this was the launch of Nakama, a much-acclaimed sushi popup, which sold out its run of ten dinner events in 2018. Most recently he launched the luxury sushi company Uramaki Sushi.
He says the opportunity to join us at Lakeside was too good to pass up. “There is so much potential here,” he said. “The range of restaurants allows me to use all the skills I’ve honed over the past two decades and cook the food I really love.
“From world flavours in Hawksley’s Bar & Lounge, where we’ll be serving world tapas and sushi, including a sushi afternoon tea, to fine dining on the mezzanine, it’s a very exciting venture to be involved in.”
July 1st, 2021