Published 3 December 2021
by Josh Barrie
The chef and writer Tim Anderson will be leaving Nanban at the end of the year after launching the Brixton restaurant in 2015.
Anderson said he will be “stepping back” from the business and will be selling his shares back to other partners, effectively relinquishing control to “focus on other projects”.
He told CODE: “I don’t want ownership or responsibility when I don’t have full control. I’ll be involved in a limited capacity, consulting and helping with menu development, but I’ll be moving on.
“I never intended to stay with the restaurant forever. My circumstances have changed and the pandemic made me realise what my priorities are. It’s time to move on.”
Anderson, who opened his second Nanban site in Covent Garden in 2019, said he’ll be working on writing, some broadcasting, and social media ventures in the New Year.
“There’s some exciting social media stuff on the way – a new cooking platform is launching which you’ll hear more about,” he said.
“I also need to spend more time with my family, and I’m going to start training to be a humanist celebrant, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m melancholy, it’s sad to be leaving Nanban, but I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Anderson, who after winning MasterChef in 2011 has published four books on Japanese cuisine and has become a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet, announced the news on Friday, and assured Nanban fans the team there is “as strong as ever”.
He wrote on Instagram: “Hi everybody. I just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be leaving Nanban at the end of this year. I could write pages about why I’ve made this (very difficult) decision, but the tldr version is that my priorities now have shifted to focus on my family, my cookbooks, and other opportunities.
“I’ll be returning from time to time to do menu development and quality control, but I won’t have any ownership or day-to-day involvement in the business. The team at Nanban is as strong as ever; I’m confident that they’ll carry on fine without me, and I wish them all the best!
“It was a dream of mine to run a ramen shop ever since I moved to the UK back in 2008, and for six years, I got to do it. I want to thank everyone – staff, customers, investors, all sorts of other supporters – who made that possible.
“As for me, I’ve got some exciting projects in the pipeline, so stay tuned. Oh, and I’ll be having an extremely informal leaving do (i.e., me getting blotto at the bar) on the 21st of December at Nanban Brixton. Please come down that night and say hi.”