New expansion plans for Arabica Food & Spice Co

Arabica Food & Spice Company founder, James Walters has announced plans for the restaurant, retail and wholesale operations, refining the brand's offering and laying the groundwork for further expansion across the group.

The news follows the appointment of David Jones as Executive Chef. Jones comes to Arabica with 20 years’ experience in hospitality and will be leading the menu development at Arabica Bar & Kitchen (pictured) and working with Walters on new product development across the company.

Jones was most recently Group Executive Chef at Comptoir Group, a 22-site strong restaurant group consisting of casual dining chain Comptoir Libanais, Shawa Lebanese Grill and Lebanese restaurants Levant and Kenza. Prior to this Jones worked as Head Chef at Momo, when it was one of London’s most fashionable North African eateries. David Jones joins Luciano Gonazga who joined as Operations Director last July.

Walters and Jones have revamped the Arabica Bar & Kitchen classics and developed new dishes which will launch on the 3 April. New dishes include:

Whipped feta with wild garlic zhug
Chargrilled quail, smoked green wheat freeke, pickle grapes, orange blossom sultanas, sorrel
Duck & date shish with watercress, apple & orange salad
Coal roasted spiced Cauliflower with tahini
Spicy Beef sujuk & egg pide
Forced Rhubarb fool with rose petal syrup, toasted almonds & Persian candyfloss

From 6 May, Walters and Jones will begin hosting monthly market tours and cookery classes at the Cook House in Borough Market, sharing their passion for Middle Eastern flavours with those keen to learn.

In addition to overhauling the food menu at Arabica Bar & Kitchen, Master of Wine, Sarah Abbott, has been brought in to work with Walters and Jones to create a short punchy list of wines from the Levant via the Caucasus to the Veneto the spice route that shaped our world.

Abbott commented, “James and I met at a Kayra wines harvest tour in Istanbul in September 2015. We bonded over chicken pudding, sheep head stew and Turkish coffee (and wine of course). James has an amazing passion and knowledge for the food and flavours of Levantine cooking and culture. I am really excited to be working with Arabica again following the success of the Introduction to Eastern Med Wines event we held last autumn.”

Walters commented, “I’m really excited about Arabica’s next chapter. I met David a few years ago, and since meeting we’ve always flirted with idea of one day working together. David and I share a playful and passionate approach to the flavours of the East, as well as a love of quality ingredients with real provenance.

'David brings a wealth of Middle Eastern culinary experience and, coupled with Luciano’s operations background, we feel it’s time to broaden our horizons. We’re eager to find new sites and expand the businesses reach.”