Chef and Owner, Bocca Di Lupo
Founder, Gelupo Gelato
Founder, Plaquemine Lock
Italian, Cajun and Creole cuisines
Jacob Kenedy is one of London’s leading restaurateurs and top chefs, having opened the award-winning Bocca di Lupo in 2008, Gelupo (2010) and Plaquemine Lock (2017). Jacob’s soaring success stems from his ability to create unique spaces with each new business that answer a call to what is needed locally. This, combined with his award-winning menus, has resulted in Jacob’s wide media acclaim and overall popularity.
Jacob cut his teeth at London’s Moro and Boulevard in San Francisco, before moving on to open his own restaurant, Bocca di Lupo, on Archer Street in London’s Soho in late 2008. Showcasing the more obscure side of Italian cuisine, the Bocca di Lupo menu is a diverse tour of regional specialities. Awarded first place in Time Out’s ‘London’s Greatest Restaurants’ in 2009, Bocca is still one of the Soho restaurants London diners come back to again and again – hailed by many as the best Italian restaurant London has to offer.
Jacob went on to open Gelupo, a traditional gelateria, in 2010 – directly across the road from Bocca di Lupo. It serves the finest gelato in London using the freshest ingredients and traditional Italian recipes. Flavours vary from modern specials to pure Italian classics – and can be enjoyed alongside hot drinks or cocktails.
In April 2017 Jacob branched away from Italian cooking to open Plaquemine Lock, one of the first pubs in London serving Cajun and Creole food from Louisiana. That same year, the pub won a Bib Gourmand.
Jacob’s strength is in his meticulous attention to detail, and his firm but fair approach to all his businesses makes for happy staff and a good convivial atmosphere at each of his ventures. His restaurants present diners with a completely authentic menu, true to their Italian and Southern heritages respectively. He takes a holistic approach, and is respected in the wine world for his work as a list writer/buyer. He considers it imperative that every aspect of a restaurant – language, food, beverage, service, ambiance – must work in harmony.
Jacob is confident and clever, with an intimate knowledge of how to run restaurants. He isn’t a ‘get it right then roll them out’ restaurateur – Jacob taps into what is needed locally, while also adding meaningful texture to London’s overall food offering. This, and the success of the restaurants, is what has earned him enduring respect from his peers – both Londoners and the most famous Italian chefs alike.
Alongside his achievements in the restaurant world, Jacob is also a successful author, having published three books on Italian cooking.
Jacob’s first book, The Geometry of Pasta, is full of authentic recipes that reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta-based Italian dishes from all over the country.
Jacob’s second book, Bocca: Cookbook, follows his journey travelling the length and breadth of Italy over the course of a year. During his journey, Jacob gathers a diverse collection of authentic recipes, from families and traditional Italian chefs alike – many of them obscure, all delicious. This commitment to the lesser-known side of Italian food culture is reflected in the menu at Bocca di Lupo, London.
Jacob’s latest book, Gelupo Gelato, presents a rainbow spectrum of simple, sophisticated gelato recipes. It covers ice creams and sorbets, all the way through to ice cream cake, profiteroles and cones – as well as the only chocolate sauce you’ll ever need.
‘Bocca di Lupo I went to only yesterday, and my tongue is still singing, my lip quivering, my brain dancing.’
‘The dishes are rustic, regional, absolutely untranslated, utterly authentic, unbelievably winning’.
‘Bocca di Lupo is just bloody marvellous.’ – Giles Coren, The Times
‘Jacob Kenedy is almost a prodigy’ – Evening Standard, Fay Maschler
‘Bocca di Lupo might just be Britain’s best Italian.’ – Terry Durack, the Independent
‘The geometry of pasta is the most stylish, and delicious, foodie publication of the year.’ – GQ
‘The finest artisan gelato this side of the Alps’ / ‘Gelupo… has been serving up the best gelato in London for ten years’ – Wallpaper, 2020
‘Bocca di Lupo is proof of how far Italian food, our expectations and palates have come in a generation’ – AA Gill, Sunday Times Style
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