Canadian vegan cookies in London’s Harrods, LA burgers in Dubai, Singaporean confectionary in Saudi, American plant-based restaurant in Selfridges, and the world’s first African food hall slated to open in Harlem and then London; a post-Covid hospitality industry is seeing a shift to a more global outlook.
“The radical changes the hospitality industry has seen due to pandemic has created the necessity to widen our arms, looking beyond a national and international scope and embracing a global view” says Simon Wright, founder of award-winning hospitality agency TGP International, which has just announced the addition of nine renowned chefs spanning five continents to their existing portfolio.
The strategic move was said to be diffuse international talent to a post-Covid global market, which in turn will provide strength and vigour to an industry that continues to suffer social and financial consequences of the pandemic, regardless of nation.
“Consumers of the world will see their local hospitality industry enriched by the injection of global culinary talent.” says Wright. "For our part 2022, the year of our 20th anniversary, will see TGP positioning their portfolio of brands and chefs into new territories offering new opportunities around the world.” he adds.
Significant 2022 opening announcements made by TGP that reflect this shift to a more global outlook include:
Multiple new openings at Expo 2020 Dubai
Indian chef Rohit Ghai’s taking his restaurant Kutir to Dubai
David Thompson’s Long Chim to open in London
Armenian-American Chef Geoffrey Zakarian opened in Dubai, and opening in Doha
Cuban Chef Luis Pous opening El Takoy in London and Riyadh
Greek Chef Tommy opening Baron from Beirut in Dubai and Riyadh
Canadian Kimberly Lin bringing Floozie cookies to Harrods
American celebrity chef Matthew Kenney opening his doors in Selfridges and Dubai
LA-based David Myers opening his Adrift burger concept in Dubai
Chef Alexander Smalls will open the world’s first African food hall in London and New York.
TGP International’s Chefs:
Aline Kamakian (Armenia, Asia)
Coco Reinharz (Burundi, Africa)
David Myers (United States, North America)
Geoffrey Zakarin (United States, North America)
Janice Wong (Singapore, Asia)
Kimberly Lin (Canada, North America)
Louis Pous (Cuba, North America)
Mark Greenaway (Scotland, Europe)
Matthew Kenney (United States, North America)
Rohit Ghai (India, Asia).
Athanasios “Tommy” Kargatzidis (Greece, Europe)
Yann Couvreur (France, Europe)
David Myers is a global citizen with an insatiable hunger for travel - he is an internationally renowned Chef and restaurateur based across Asia, the United States and this year with the help of TGP saw expansion in the Middle East. Recognized for his unique ways of marrying his two greatest passions; food and travel, David curates and innovates new, captivating experiences for diners around the globe.
Rohit Ghai was born into a Punjabi family and originally from Madhya Pradesh, India, Rohit first worked in India for the Oberio and Taj hotel groups. Ghain ow has an impressive CV, having been Executive Chef at Bombay Bustle, Jamavar (earning a Michelin-star in under a year - the first time an Indian Chef has ever done this in the UK), Gymkhana, Hoppers, Trishna, Verandah (in Copenhagen) and Benares over the last 15 years. In 2018, he launched his first standalone restaurant with business partner Abhi Sangwan: Kutir in Chelsea, which attracted international praise and critical acclaim. During the pandemic, Ghai began working with online platform Masterclass, sharing his expert approach to Indian cuisine on a digital platform. In 2021, Ghai opened new restaurant, Iksha 360, in Doha and also opened Kutir at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Kutir at Expo 2020 Dubai
With the emblematic fox by his side, Yann Couvreur quit office life to pursue his love for gastronomy. Between viennoiseries, pastries, and cakes, not to mention his signature dessert of vanilla mille-feuilles, Couvreur has made a name for himself as the “rising star in patisserie”. While innovative renditions of classic French desserts like the Paris-Brest have garnered critical acclaim, Couvreur’s three boutiques in Paris see queues from down the street.
Janice Wong Singapore is a multi-product and multi-channel confectionery brand that creates to inspire where art meets design and design meets art, where one can use their imagination to create, interact and discover. Janice Wong Singapore truly embraces food technology and innovation. Chef Janice Wong’s efforts in experimenting with ingredients, cooking techniques and machines led to creations of edible art, 3d printed chocolates and others, which in turn kickstarted a flurry of activities that saw the business expanding to the international stage.
Matthew Kenney is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, author, and educator specializing in plant-based cuisine. He is the author of 12 cookbooks, founder of dozens of vegan restaurants, and founder of the companies Matthew Kenney Cuisine and Matthew Kenney Culinary, a plant-based diet education business. TGP International have already begun work with Kenney having opened several concepts at Expo 2020 Dubai in October and an opening Adesse in Selfridges. London December.
Adesse in Selfridges. London
Chef Coco Reinharz philosophy is that of a modern world culinary citizen who is also an African by birth and choice. He combines classical French training and skill with the panorama of spectacularly expressive but previously overlooked African food in a modern, sophisticated and utterly delicious manner. His cookbook: Banqueting House, African Cuisine – An Epic journey has won an international award at the Gourmet world cookbook awards. The group have already begun work with Reinharz featuring him in a TGP own brand, ALKEBULAN, also at Expo 2020 Dubai where he created two food and one bar concept all paying homage to African cuisine and culture.
ALKEBULAN The African Dining Hall at Expo 2020 Dubai
After studying culinary arts, baking, pastry, and French boulangerie, Kimberly Lin worked across the UK and Canada. Kim has worked in institutions such as The Savoy and Claridge’s in London, and most recently Dominique Ansel Bakery. She joined TGP International in 2017 and took part in many product developments for clients and partner brands since. Having created Floozie Cookies over the pandemic she has seen tremendous success with the brand also with two sites at Expo 2020 Dubai, 2 sites in London and a new luxury department store Harrods’s London that recently opened in January 2022.
Floozie Cookies at Harrods, London
Aline Kamakian began her career as an insurance broker at the age of 18 to put herself into college. All through her successes, Aline never forgot her love for food but most importantly she never forgot her Armenian roots. She opened in June 2003 “Mayrig” an avant guardiste traditional Armenian restaurant to introduce to all those who appreciate homely, healthy and tasty food, the forgotten flavors of Ancient Armenia. Since then, Aline has ventured into new concepts, catering in 2004, Batchig in 2013, Made by Mayrig in 2014. She opened new branches of Mayrig in Dubai in 2013 and in Riyadh in 2016. Mayrig’s flagship reached the Maldives in 2017 and hit home to Yerevan, Armenia in 2018.
Geoffrey Zakarian is recognized by culinary industry insiders as a superstar of the restaurant world and by food enthusiasts everywhere as “Iron Chef,” author, fashion icon, and trusted television presence. His technical mastery was honed over his five-year, meteoric rise at Le Cirque, and then throughout a series of apprenticeships across Western Europe. His ever-expanding restaurant empire includes outposts in NYC, South Florida, Atlantic City, Sonoma and soon to open Doha, Qatar. Each has earned him countless accolades – including a trio of coveted Three-Star Reviews from the New York Times. Highlights from his prolific television career include his ongoing role as co-host of “The Kitchen” (2017 Emmy Award Nomination), his 41-season tenure as “America’s favorite judge” on “Chopped,” and as Iron Chef Zakarian on “Iron Chef America.” The author of acclaimed books, a social media reach of over 1 million highly engaged fans and a growing line of gourmet food and innovative culinary tools for the home cook, Zakarian is bringing his lifelong passion for the art of living well into the homes of food enthusiasts everywhere.
Luis Pous is a globally acclaimed chef & founder of El Ta’Koy, working with TGP to open sites in Miami, London and New York. Prior to this, Luis has been at the helm of some of the world’s most sought after dining destinations for over 2 decades, recently overseeing the global relaunch and expansion of the iconic Asia De Cuba brand. In 2010, Pous was honored with an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City and has since cooked of leading figures, including Sir Paul McCartney.
El Ta’Koy in London
Mark Greenaway is an Edinburgh-based chef and restaurateur. He is chef and owner of Restaurant Mark Greenaway, voted one of the UK's Top 100 Restaurants in 2017, and holds three AA Rosettes. Greenaway represented Scotland on BBC2's Great British Menu in 2012 and 2013. Greenaway opened his restaurant, Restaurant Mark Greenaway on Picardy Place, Edinburgh, in 2011, and it moved to North Castle Street in 2013 where it remained through 2018. In April 2012 Greenaway represented Scotland on the BBC’s cookery program Great British Menu, and again in 2013 for the series Great British Menu Does Comic Relief. He worked in Australia for five years, then at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, at Kilcamb Lodge Hotel in Strontian and at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel in the Scottish Borders. Greenaway's first cookbook, Perceptions – Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway, which was published in 2016 and won Best Cookbook in the World in the Chef Category 2017 of the Gourmand World Book Awards. In 2019, the chef opened Grazing by Mark Greenaway in Edinburgh's Waldorf Astoria hotel. In 2021, Greenaway opened his first London fine dining restaurant, Pivot, in Covent Garden. This followed the April 2021 opening of his first pie and mash shop in the city.
Pivot in Covent Garden, London
Athanasios “Tommy” Kargatzidis is a creative, resilient and results-focused chef-restaurateur who complements a proven hospitality background with ownership, corporate-level experience, leading change, improvement and profitability across multi-brand operation on an international stage. Leads major launch, brand transformation and projects, driving culinary and service innovation, developing industry-leading menus and constantly enhancing the customer experience across a range of culinary concepts. Offers experience having led operations in Canada, Europe, MENA, GCC and Asia. Bringing a strong regional and cultural awareness for developing brand concepts which incorporate both international standards and regional identity, and has now opened BARON at Expo 2020 Dubai.
BARON at Expo 2020 Dubai
About TGP International:
Formed in 2002, TGP International is an award-winning global agency for the hospitality and retail market dedicated to providing straightforward solutions for an ever-evolving industry, with 5 offices in the UK, USA and across the GCC.
Drawing upon the team’s vast experience and skill base, TGP offers advisory services, concept development, interior design, franchising & licensing and asset management. With a dedicated award-winning inhouse design studio, TGP brings a unique multidisciplined approach to hospitality, creating world-class consumer experiences through the teams expertise, innovation and passion. Offering a huge array of franchising and licensing opportunities from fast casual through to upscale restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs, TGP represents a large portfolio of award-winning restaurant brands and Chefs ready to expand internationally.
TGP International's Team
Simon Wright, Founder & Chairman
Simon has an award-winning hospitality career spanning over 35 years, working across Europe, USA and GCC. Since forming TGP in 2002 Simon has established a reputation as an operational and commercial expert within the industry. Consequently, he has cultivated relationships with the world’s leading chefs and F&B brands. His latest venture is Game Changers Investments, formed in 2020, a special vehicle developed to create opportunities for talented individual brands post Covid-19, creating value from a changing restaurant property market.