Black Swan chef Tommy Banks to Open Second Restaurant this Autumn in York

Tommy Banks 350

Tommy Banks and his family have teamed up with friend and restaurateur Matthew Lockwood to open their second restaurant, Roots, in York this September.

Following on from their award-winning, one Michelin-starred restaurant-with-rooms, The Black Swan at Oldstead in North Yorkshire, Roots will bring a unique ‘farm-to-fork’ philosophy to the city for the first time, introducing what the Banks family calls an ‘innovative and holistic approach to hospitality to an urban environment’.

Integral to their style is a clear focus on originality and self-reliance, which brings the family, chefs and front of house together to work collectively in all areas of the business.

Including designing and making the furniture for the restaurant, they also plan, plant and harvest on their land before preparing and serving dinner. This approach is being strengthened by the launch of their second restaurant, where preparation for the opening has meant growth and expansion of the Black Swan gardens in order for Oldstead produce to be brought to the city daily.

Members of the team will be alternating between the two sites, ensuring the personality of the Black Swan and the Banks’ family resonates in every element of Roots.

The new restaurant and menu will be aligned with Tommy’s debut cookbook, also named Roots, in which the chef redefines the seasons into three growing groups inspired by Oldstead’s ingredients, which he describes as the ‘roots’ of their food and which he aims to use throughout the year.

Instead of the traditional four seasons, Tommy works within three defining seasons: The Hunger Gap, Time of Abundance and the Preserving Season.

These three seasons will dictate the menu at Roots, where each season will introduce a new menu.

The first, between January and June, is called ‘The Hunger Gap’ because there is very little fresh produce to harvest. The food used is predominantly from the ‘Time of Abundance’ the previous year, which is between June and September, when young vegetables are appearing and produce is more plentiful.

When this comes to an end in late September, work begins on preserving for the following season. Preserving includes pickling, fermenting, drying, freezing or clamping. This philosophy, which means that Tommy and the team utilise their ‘root’ ingredients to the best of their ability, forms the foundation of their cuisine.

At the time of opening, September 2018, the daily menu will be centred around preservation. Dishes will include lamb and fermented turnip, cured trout, fennel kimchi and Meridian apple, raw beef with chilli ferment and smoked bone marrow and smoked eel doughnuts.

As well as the main menu, there will also be a ‘Roots Feast’, which will be a chefs’ selection of dishes, brought to the table in four servings.

Roots will serve cocktails, using produce grown or foraged in Oldstead to reflect the flavours of the current menu, for example Marigold Martinis, Mayweed Martinez and Woodruff Old Fashioned.

Additionally, Roots, will feature an exciting and distinctive wine menu, crafted by James Banks with an emphasis on delicious wines sourced from small producers and lesser known regions. The wine list will consist of 50 wines, 25 white and 25 red, which will all be available by the glass.

Tommy said: “We are all incredibly excited about our second restaurant Roots, opening in the heart of York. Work is well underway in all areas and I am enjoying getting stuck into creating a new and unique menu for the city.”

Bookings open from August 1 for the opening in September until end of 2018, which will be from The Preserving Menu.

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