Founder of Spanish restaurant group Iberica, Marco Fernandez Pardo, is developing a paella restaurant concept with yet another Michelin starred chef, M&C understands.
Iberica currently has sites in Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, Farringdon, Marylebone and Victoria in London, and another site in Manchester.
The Victoria restaurant opened on the ground floor of the Zig Zag Building in August and already is bringing in similar revenue to the other more established sites, Fernandez Pardo said.
Next year, they will be opening another three restaurants - in Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh - through a £3m deal with Santander, M&C understands.
The Leeds site, in a former auction house on East Street, will be the first to open in April and Fernandez Pardo said he hoped to have them all open by October.
“We can only do one at a time, we’re not a big chain,” he said.
“Getting that team trained and up to scratch is a massive strain on the company. We’ve got an opening team, but it’s still a massive strain.”
The sites were all being developed with Ibérica’s executive head chef, three Michelin starred-Nacho Manzano.
Fernandez Pardo said he was developing a new restaurant concept, focusing solely on paella, with another Michelin starred chef with four stars under their belt.
“That’s still on the drawing board, I can’t even mention the chef.”
The paella would be cooked over wood fires and the concept had the potential to be rolled out to a number of sites, Fernandez Pardo said.
They were looking at sites seating between 120-200 in London, and slightly smaller sites outside of the capital, he said.