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After 10 Years, Celebrated Chef Leaves Restaurant She Made Her Own

Eater logo Eater 6/20/2019 Adam Coghlan
a group of people sitting at a table in front of a brick building: Anna Hansen will leave the restaurant she opened 10 years ago © Modern Pantry/Instagram Anna Hansen will leave the restaurant she opened 10 years ago Anna Hansen will leave the Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell 

Anna Hansen, the Canadian-New Zealand chef, founder, and owner of The Modern Pantry, a fusion restaurant in Clerkenwell’s St. John Square, has announced she will leave after 10 years.

Robert Mcleary, who joined the restaurant in 2008 and has acted as head chef since 2014, will takeover as executive chef.

Hansen said: “I can’t thank the loyal customers of The Modern Pantry enough for making it the incredible success that it is today. I have no doubt that the future is still bright for the restaurant and the next 10 years will be just as exciting as the last.”

Hansen has not yet announced her next move but endorsed her successor: “I’m moving on to explore other opportunities and I feel very comfortable leaving The Modern Pantry in the extremely capable hands of my good friend Robert. He has been with me since the very beginning and knows the business inside out so I’m sure it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Des Gunewardena CEO and Chairman of D&D London, co-owner of The Modern Pantry, added: “I’ll be very sad to see Anna leave The Modern Pantry. She is a uniquely talented chef and businesswoman and she should be proud of what she has created.

“I wish her the best of luck in her future projects, which I’m sure will be huge successes. I’m also very excited to see what the future holds for the restaurant, which I hope with Rob at the helm will continue to flourish.”

Hansen, who worked with Margot and Fergus Henderson in the early 90s at the French House, closed the City outpost of the Modern Pantry, in Finsbury Square, in December 2017. At the time, she said: “The last two years have been a real learning curve for us... it’s become hard to compete with other city offerings. I would never want to change, or take away, from the originality of what we do, hence the decision to close and really focus on Clerkenwell as we come into our tenth year of operating.”

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