His first restaurant hasn’t done too badly.
The Black Swan at Oldstead not only has a Michelin star, it was named the best restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor, based on customer reviews.
It was the first time a British restaurant had taken the travel website’s global top spot.
And now owner-chef Tommy Banks has confirmed he is to open a second venture – right here in York.
Roots York will be a new restaurant and bar by the talented Banks family.
Due to open in an undisclosed city centre location, it will no doubt bring foodies from miles around to York.
Right time to expand
We revealed back in December that Tommy was homing in on York for his new enterprise.
Now he has told the Caterer:
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, it’s just been about the right time and place.
The second restaurant is a long time in the planning, so we’ve got people in place who are stepping up at the Black Swan, some people are going across to Roots, everything’s very well planned.
I don’t feel I’ve bitten off more than I can chew… It’s the right time to expand.
Tommy said he would split his time between Roots York during the day and the Black Swan at night. He lives at Oldstead in the North York Moors National Park, about 20 miles north of York.
Chilled out atmosphere
Tommy, who was overseeing the contestants on Masterchef on Monday (April 9), is looking forward to being a part of this culinary city.
“So much good food in York now it will be an honour to be a part of it,” he tweeted, referencing Skosh, Le Cochon Aveugle, Mannions, Brew And Brownie, Star Inn The City and the Rattle Owl.
So what can we expect from Roots? This, according to its new website:
Incorporating the unique style of the Black Swan Oldstead, Roots will offer casual and playful sharing dishes with the same focus on quality cooking that Tommy has become so famous for. The dishes will be hearty, fun and always delicious.
Make a choice. Order as much as you like, eat, drink and be the creator of your own menu.
He told the Caterer it would offer an a la carte menu of sharing dishes, similar to those on the tasting menu at the Black Swan.
But it won’t be a carbon copy: “It’s keeping the same ethos, of using everything we’ve grown on the farm, and the same chilled out, unpretentious atmosphere.
“But Roots needs to have its own identity as well and I want it to be special in its own right.”
At the age of 24 Tommy became the youngest head chef of a one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain in 2013.
Last year he was the Yorkshire Life Chef of the Year, and won The Caterer’s Acorn award, as well as making it to the banquet stage of BBC Two’s Great British Menu.