stacey smith Ilan Slazenger.
Stacey and Ilan who took over the Upstairs Restaurant recently wanted to introduce something new and unique to this fantastic restaurant and decided to invite Paul to experience his (already fabulous) cooking in a larger and professional environment.
Stacey says: "We ran the idea by Paul and he instantly got excited. After all, Paul was considering setting up a restaurant for some time now but has yet to find the right premises and location.
"We thought that whilst the food we serve in the Upstairs Restaurant at N20 is superb (French and Italian cuisines) this fabulous venue which serves some of the most affluent areas of North London and Hertfordshire, must offer something which is not available anywhere in the surrounding areas."
"We then had dinner together with Paul and brain stormed the idea and now, several weeks later, we are just a few days away from the launch night on Tuesday 25th March, with an additional evening on the following day and from then on, once or twice a week every week."
"Paul's knowledge and experience is incredible says Ilan and having tasted some of Paul's dishes, I can't wait to have all three courses next Tuesday."
The origin of Cajun food:
Creole, or Cajun food, is historically French with a geographical Caribbean twist!
Both the food and the music that come from New Orleans (yes, named after Orleans in France) is heavily based around the French settlers that arrived in Louisiana from Acadia in Canada in the 17th century.
Like New Orleans' traditional music, Zydeco, which is led mostly by accordion that the French brought with them, the food is also largely French, with a love of seafood and sauces.
Add to that the later influx of Italians and English to New Orleans, and the spices that found their way across from the Caribbean islands, and Creole cuisine was "a happy accident waiting to happen ..."
Paul says: "My first taste of this was about 20 years ago, when I was touring in the United States and finally got to New Orleans.
"There were already some 'foodies' in my band, and we were dismayed to find that there was a two weeks waiting list for both of the top restaurants in town.
"We ate elsewhere (still good food!), and bought the cookbooks home with us to impress our friends.
"That cookbook has served me well!
"I have been back to New Orleans recently for inspiration (and managed to dine at K Paul's); also I have altered some of the dishes a little (instead of rabbit for instance, chicken; and I have re-balanced some spices for the more delicate palate) with the aim of giving you, our guest at the Upstairs Restaurant at N20, a little taste of something special from another part of the world, which is also one of the few cuisines not catered for in London; until now.
"I was invited to the original opening of the Upstairs Restaurant at N20 a few years ago and have always thought it was a superb venue.
"So when the opportunity to be a chef at this venue cooking my favourite food was presented to me, I was really excited and having met the staff and particularly Pascal and Sergio, I am completely confident that these evenings will be a success.
"My first two evenings in the Upstairs Restaurant are on Tuesday 25th March and Wednesday 26th March and I am planning to continue these evenings at least once a week, gigs permitting ...."
For more information or to book a table, please call Ilan Slazenger on 07760 43 4444 or the restaurant directly on 020 8445 8080.
Upstairs Restaurant at N20