Kirkwood, who was previously head chef at J Sheekey and has also worked at Le Caprice, The Ivy and Coq d’Argent, has been tasked with creating a new menu to reflect ‘the East End’s exceptional seafood legacy' while at the same time maintaining the restaurant's 'contemporary and innovative essence'.
He will replace David Cook, who has run the kitchen since the restaurant opened in January 2014 but is moving back to Australia for personal reasons.
“I first met Robin Hancock and Ben Wright when I was working at Coq d’Argent and I have been lucky enough to cook with their fantastic produce for the past 12 years,” said Kirkwood.
“I’m very excited to take on this new challenge and look forward to working with some of the best seafood the British Isles has to offer.”
“We are thrilled to have Richard Kirkwood join us with fresh new ideas for the menu and restaurant, whilst building upon David Cook’s excellent work to date,” said Hancock.
Wright Brothers Spitalfields
Wright Brothers Spitalfields is located within a double-fronted historic unit in the original Old Spitalfields Market building on Lamb Street.
The restaurant offers a ‘sea-to-plate’ dining experience, with diners able to choose from a selection of over 10,000 live molluscs and crustaceans, which are prepared on a central 20 metre dining counter.
Specialities include ‘naked’ and ‘dressed’ oysters, whole brown crab, Canadian or native lobster and classic ‘fruits de mer’ platters. Oysters are sourced direct from the Wright Brothers’ own Duchy Oyster Farm, part of the private estate of HRH The Prince of Wales on the Helford River in Cornwall.
The restaurant is the fourth seafood venue from Wright Brothers, which also operates Oyster & Porter House in Borough Market, Soho Oyster House and Cornish gastropub The Ferryboat Inn. Set up by brothers-in-law Wright and Hancock in 2002, the company is also a seafood wholesaler supplying over 150 restaurants and chefs across the UK.