Michelin-starred chef Greg Malouf has dashed the hopes of Melbourne foodies, announcing he has no plans to return home to set up a restaurant following his departure from Petersham Nurseries Cafe in England.
Malouf told Fairfax today his next move was likely to be to the Middle East. He is leaving Australia for Dubai next week, and is in discussions with investors about potential projects there, in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul.
A spokeswoman from Petersham Nurseries announced this week the cafe was searching for a new chef to take over from Malouf, who was awarded a Michelin star during his seven-month stint at the trendy establishment, located in Richmond just outside London.
Malouf says he has left Petersham on amicable terms, describing his tenure as a win-win for him and the nursery’s owners Gael and Francesco Boglione following the much rockier departure of Skye Gyngell.
“It’s opened lots of doors for me,” said Malouf today of his time at Petersham. “I’ve had a lot of people (in London) approach me with various opportunities, although, I should add there are a lot of tyre-kickers around.”
Malouf told Fairfax last month that his long-term dream was to open his own Middle Eastern restaurant in London and said today that was still the plan. “But at the moment it makes more sense to base myself in the Middle East, because it is much closer to Australia and my number one priority is family.”
Malouf’s wife and her two children, aged 12 and 15, still live in Melbourne although the eventual plan is for them to join him overseas.
Malouf said basing himself in the Middle East also made sense because he is in the planning stages of a new travel book about the Arab Peninsula with former wife Lucy, who is now based in Provence. Malouf was reluctant to spell out the details of the Middle East projects saying no contracts had been signed, but said it was likely he would be based there for the next 18 to 24 months at least.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.