Monica Galetti, who rose to fame in the UK when she joined the BBC competitive cooking show, Masterchef – the Professionals as a judge, is to open a much awaited restaurant together with her husband David Galetti, a French sommelier.
The couple’s first restaurant is to be located at 74 Charlotte Street in London’s Fitzrovia and will open in partnership with Westbury Street Holdings. The restaurant is a long-term personal dream of the Galettis and the emotion of that is captured in the name. Mere – pronounced Mary – pays homage, not only to the French for ‘mother’, but also to the Samoan for ‘Mary’, Monica’s mother’s name.
“For many years, it’s been David’s and my dream to open a restaurant together. In Mere, we want to deliver a restaurant that’s relaxed and casual, but with no compromise on comfort, or the quality of the food and wines on offer. The kind of place we both like to visit and one that’s personal and welcoming.” Monica explains.
A Samoan, Monica has a career as a chef spanning 10 years in London. A TV household name, she worked as Senior Sous Chef at the iconic 2 Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche of Michel Roux Jr, where she remained until March 2015 before leaving to set up her own venture.
She is the author of two books, Monica’s Kitchen (published in 2012) and The Skills which has just been released.
David Galetti joined the team at Le Gavroche in 2001, where he first met Monica and they married in 2004. David became Head Sommelier in June 2008 and will remain with the restaurant until October 2016, before leaving to focus on the opening of Mere.
The venue will be split level, with a bar on the raised ground floor seating 20 guests for bar snacks, cocktails and drinks. The downstairs restaurant will accommodate up to 64 guests.
Menus will be seasonal and market led, with a mixture of both Monica’s lighter take on the classics and new dishes currently in development.
“The menu will be pretty straightforward”, explains Monica, “I want to create the kind of food and environment that guests can visit regularly and come to Mere to just relax – whether it’s a business lunch or an evening with friends and family.”