Earlier this week, four fire engines and more than 20 firefighters were dispatched to fight a fire at Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant next to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
London 24 News reported that roughly 150 people were evacuated from a shopping center in the City after the fire broke out.
A fire brigade spokesman indicated part of the ducting in the first-floor restaurant’s extraction system had caught fire but was extinguished.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated. London Fire Brigade tweeted: “Around 150 were evacuated from a nearby shopping centre before we arrived. All were uninjured.”
There are no reports of any other injuries.
Barbecoa’s kitchen is equipped with smokers, grills, spits, and pits. Grub Street notes the irony: “As you sit at your table overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral,” its website notes, “you’ll feel the heat, see the flames lick and the smoke drift upwards from our open kitchen.”
Jamie Oliver’s restaurant is a co-production with Adam Perry Lang, a New York chef famed for his barbecue expertise featuring long, slow cooking and the use of smoke to enhance flavor.
According to their website, Barbecoa is a celebration of traditional fire-based cooking and incredible ingredients. “Our in-house butchers handpick and prepare the very best meat in Britain, then our chefs cook beautiful modern dishes using Texas pit smokers, tandoors, fire pits, robata grills and wood fired ovens.”
Barbecoa procures some of their beef at an abattoir in Scotland, which is hand selected by Jim Taylor, whoever that is. For every 800 carcasses he sees, Barbecoa claims Taylor selects around six.
The restaurant has received mixed reviews. Back in 2011, The Guardian’s Jay Rayner said, “A couple of hot rib dishes aside, Jamie Oliver’s collaboration with a top New York barbecue chef is underwhelming.
“What it has failed to do, curiously, is make a feature of fire and flame. The kitchen is hidden away when it should be a central piece of theatre. And the same is true of the barbecued meats.”
Rayner added that if Barbecoa opened in New York, “its shortcomings would see it laughed out of town. I wish the presiding chef’s home city really had been a huge influence. Still, they do at least claim to be building a better Barbecoa. I hope they succeed.”
Barbecoa is located at 20 New Change, City of London, Greater London EC4M 9AG, United Kingdom
Hours of Operation
Monday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Tuesday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Wednesday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Thursday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday 12:00–11:00 pm
Sunday 12:00–10:00 pm
Images Via Barbecoa’s Facebook Page