Husband and wife chefs take over popular restaurant

A HUSBAND and wife chef team who have worked in a string of Michelin-starred restaurants around the world – including Gordon Ramsay's eateries in New York – are set open their first Edinburgh bistro.

Matthias Llorente and his wife Roisin have recently taken over a branch of The Olive Branch Bistro, in Colinton Road, after the owners of decided to downsize for family reasons.

The Llorentes will shortly rename their restaurant Bia Bistrot, promising a menu stocked with fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Llorente, 32, from Grenoble in south-eastern France, said: "I met Roisin in Scotland ten years ago and we've since travelled the world, working in restaurants and gaining experience.

"We've been back about a year now and we're keen to get going with our own business. This is our first self-run restaurant but we've been working in the industry for more than 15 years.

"We will continue to run it as The Olive Branch Bistro for the time being, but hope to have it fully rebranded in August."

The name of their new bistro harks back to the days when it was known as Bistrot Des Arts – said to have been a favourite of Rebus author Ian Rankin.

Roisin, 31, from Donegal in Ireland, was most recently sous-chef in the double Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay At The London, in New York, while Matthias held the same post at Ramsay's other New York restaurant, Maze.

Roisin has also held senior kitchen posts in Michelin-starred restaurants Michael Deane, in Belfast, and L'Ecrivain, in Dublin. Matthias has worked in the double Michelin-starred Domaine de Chateauvieux in Geneva.

The couple met while working in the kitchen of Edinburgh's Sheraton Grand Hotel in 2000.

The Llorentes will fill the void left by Stuart and Kerry Thom who have been forced to close two of their three Olive Branch Bistros after Mrs Thom contracted meningitis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their George IV Bridge branch is also closing along with the branch in Colinton, and they will instead focus their attentions on their original Broughton Street branch as well devoting more time to their three children and allowing Mrs Thom to make a full recovery.

Mr Thom said: "Kerry was really ill recently and although she's getting better we've decided to make things a little easier on ourselves.

"Trying to run a business while looking after three children is a tough job at the best of times, but there's only the two of us and with Kerry being ill we thought it was time to refocus.

"The Broughton bistro is still going strong."

Related topics: