Tom Aikens, the high-end chef, is set to expand his restaurant estate, after announcing a partnership with the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group (IDRG), the leading restaurant and entertainment group in Turkey.

IDRG will become an investment and strategic partner of Aikens, to both oversee his existing London-based restaurants, and to grow the business.

It is thought that IDRG will look to open up to eight more Tom’s Kitchens in the capital and also seek to roll the brand out globally. There is also expected to be a UK roll-out of IDRG’s bistro brand called Kitchenette.

The new investment by IDRG brings to an end Peter Dubens’ involvement with Aikens. Dubens, the Internet entrepreneur, stepped in to revive the group with Aikens after it fell into administration in 2008 with debts of £3m.

Aikens currently operates two Chelsea sites - Tom Aikens Restaurant, and Tom’s Kitchen - in addition to Tom’s Kitchen, Tom’s Deli, Tom’s Terrace and Tom’s Events, which are all based at Somerset House on the Embankment.

The new agreement will also include the refurbishment and re-launch of the group’s flagship Tom Aikens Restaurant in Elystan Street. This will result in a two-three month closure from June 2011, re-opening in early September with a more contemporary look and new more informal menu and service approach.

IDRG is backed by Trilantic Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on middle market investments in North America and Europe.

Established in 1993, IDRG currently owns 12 brands, which include 24 restaurants, franchises and a hotel. Its first restaurant was Da Mario, opened in 1993, which was the first Italian restaurant in Istanbul. Other sites include Angelique, A’jia, Gina, Mama, Vogue Restaurant & Bar, Wan-na, Kitchenette, and Zuma, the sister restaurant to the London business.

In a statement, Aikens, who is thought to have taken a 20% stake in the new set up, said he was very grateful to Dubens for having acquired the group when he did, and while this was a good working relationship, he now wanted to take the company in a different direction.

It continued: “He is excited at the potential of a new challenge with Doors, who will bring a wide variety of strengths to his existing business, notably in terms of experience within a diverse portfolio of highly successful restaurants.”

Dubens said: “It has been a pleasure to help Tom Aikens with his two Chelsea restaurants - Tom’s Kitchen and Restaurant Tom Aikens - over the past three years. Both restaurants are an important part of the local economy and I welcomed the opportunity to be able to offer my support at the time.

“The difficulties facing the business prior to my involvement were well publicised. More importantly though, looking forward, the business has made a great deal of progress over the past three years and is now thriving.”