Nicholas Balfe is a British chef who earlier this year opened his own venture; ‘Salon’ on Brixton’s Market Row. He has worked at several acclaimed restaurants in London including the legendary Frank’s in Peckham, as Head Chef of the Brunswick House Cafe and even a stint with The Young Turks at The Ten Bells. He decided to open ‘Salon’ after working with the ‘Cannon & Cannon’. Taking the opportunity to use the empty space above the deli and develop the supper clubs they were holding into a permanent restaurant. Here he creates set seasonal menus that reflect his passion for fresh British ingredients combined together in inventive ways with a focus on flavour and simplicity.
“Brixton has always been a place where people from all sorts of background have been welcomed. It’s pretty unique in that sense.”
Brixton is a district in South London and part of the London Borough of Lambeth. In the latter 19th Century many middle class settlers descended on the Brixton area due to the developing rail links giving the area it’s characteristic large Georgian houses. By the 1920’s it had become one of the main shopping areas in London and there was an influx of a more working class resident. Since 1948 Brixton has been home to many immigrant communities, giving it a multicultural and diverse atmosphere which can be seen through the thriving and vibrant food culture that has developed around it’s market. The area was badly damaged in WWII creating a housing crisis and damaging the local economy, giving it a reputation of violence and crime around the time of the Brixton Riots in 1981. But today Brixton is the heart of the London foodie movement and is still undergoing it’s slow redevelopment into one of the most interesting and diverse communities in London.