Rochelle Canteen Redefined London’s Dining Scene
New Zealander Margot Henderson and husband Fergus Henderson revolutionised the British culinary landscape with their respective restaurants, Rochelle Canteen, founded in 2006, and St John, founded in 1994. As part of the couple’s guest editor takeover of Wallpaper’s October 2022 issue, Caroline Roux explores the story of their two restaurants as told by their family and friends.
Both couples had cooking in their families. In Margot’s case, her mother wrote books about restaurants in Wellington and Christchurch and introduced the family to delicacies such as frogs’ legs and flambéed oranges from an early age. At home, though, the diet was cultishly healthy, leading the young Margot to concoct her own white sugar treats: meringues, jellies, biscuits and toffee, Roux writes.
Alcides Gauto, maître d’ at London’s Toklas and front of house at Rochelle Canteen from 2007-2016, says: “I went to a party at Rochelle, and then I started working there. We didn’t take bookings, people just rang the bell on the gate outside – if they could find it! But once they did, it was like magic. You walk through the gate and across a garden full of flowers. It’s like nowhere else in London.”
Original article by Caroline Roux, Wallpaper, September 19, 2022.