OUR TEAM
KURT ZDESAR
Founder

Kurt Zdesar – Founder and Owner of Chotto Matte – has over 30 years' experience in the global hospitality industry and has spearheaded many pioneering concepts within the sector. Zdesar has an abundance of attributes and accolades including being European Director for Nobu, Consulting for Alan Yau for the launch of Hakassan, founding the global dining chain Ping Pong and Founder and Owner of the hugely successful Chotto Matte.  

 

Kurt identified a gap in the market for premium Nikkei food and proceeded to open the flagship venue on Frith Street, London, in 2013. It was London’s debut restaurant solely dedicated to the inimitable Nikkei cuisine - an expert blend of Japanese and Peruvian flavours - which secured its position as one of the top trailblasing restaurants in the city. 

 

Endeavoring to always push the boundaries, standards and vision of the restaurant scene, Kurt is currently focusing on his continued international expansion of Chotto Matte, employing his proven expertise to instigate a succinct roll-out strategy. Venues already confirmed for 2022 – that will sit alongside the current outposts in Miami and Toronto – include Doha, Riyadh and San Francisco. There are also plans in motion to launch a new outpost in London.  

 

Kurt’s natural instinct is to create not only a restaurant but also a lifestyle, with global appeal, which has resulted in positioning him as a pioneer and leader in the industry. 

 

Kurt Zdesar - "We are excited to continue our expansion plans for Chotto Matte internationally. We cannot wait for the new phase of growth to allow more people to experience and very best of authentic Nikkei cuisine, in stylish architectural spaces across the globe" 

Jordan Sclare - Executive Chef for Chotto Matte - has worked for the most globally renowned restaurants including The Savoy, Gordan  Ramsay’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, the award-winning Nobu and private chef to Giorgio Armani. 

Classically trained Sclare, had his first catering experience when he was 14 years old at London’s Savoy Hotel - working alongside the famed chef Anton Edelmann. Following his time at The Savoy, Sclare then made the move to Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, which has resulted in his dedication and affable leadership style. 

It is while working for Nobu London that his name was placed firmly on the global map upon receiving a Michelin Star. A 6 year tenure at the famous global hotspot saw Jordan work his way up from the youngest Nobu sous chef to Head Chef, cooking for notable names such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce and The Beckhams.

Following his time at Nobu, Jordan continued his Asian culinary journey by way of spending 5 years at Aqua Kyoto, a contemporary Japanese restaurant in the heart of the West End. He then accepted the position of Executive Head Chef for Buddha Bar London, and brought the concept over from Paris. 

After years of collaboration and friendship, Jordan Sclare and Kurt Zdesar launched the flagship Chotto Matte in the heart of Soho in 2013. Jordan has been playing a fundamental role in the conception of the Chotto Matte culinary identity, constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional Nikkei techniques.

JORDAN SCLARE
Executive Chef
PAUL SARLAS
Managing Director

Paul Sarlas - Managing Director of NZR Group, under which seat the brand Chotto Matte - has a wealth of knowledge and expertise within the industry, and has held positions of CEO, Director within several restaurant groups in Singapore, Moscow, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and London. Prior to joining Chotto Matte, Paul founded a strategic consultancy company for the hospitality industry ‘Savvy IQ’ which has developed concepts globally. He is also the founder of Bao and Bing a Taiwanese street food restaurant in Marylebone, Co-founder of Ichi Buns, a Japanese Burger concept in Soho, and the ex-CEO of Ping Pong.

 

Since joining Chotto Matte, Paul has been fundamental in implementing the strategy of the international expansion plans, researching and securing brilliant partners worldwide. Venues already confirmed for 2022 – that will sit alongside the current outposts in Miami and Toronto – include Doha, Riyadh and San Francisco. There are also plans in motion to launch a new outpost in London.

 

Chotto Matte is a pioneering restaurant, renowned for its incredible offering of the Japanese Peruvian culinary experience, Nikkei cuisine. It is recognised as an iconic dining establishment and offers an unforgettable multi-sensory experience.

 

Paul Sarlas - “We are proud to be taking the Chotto Matte brand to new horizons and bringing the concept to the most vibrant and avant-garde cities of the world.”

Jamie Al-Kadhimi - Director of Strategy & Development - Joined Chotto Matte in 2017 and brings with him over five years of experience in the management industry. 

 

He originally started his career in the property investment industry, before realising his passion for helping grow independent restaurant businesses.

 

While first joining Chotto Matte as Strategic Project Manager he led more than 200 people during the openings of both Chotto Matte Miami and Chotto Matte Toronto. 

 

Thanks to his expertise and natural instinct, Jamie quickly took on the role of Franchise & Development Manager, signing Chotto Matte’s first franchise deal in 2019. Building a strong franchise structure for the group, he then followed by the signature of three more deals, exporting the Chotto Matte brand in new markets such as Doha and Riyadh.

 

Recently promoted to Director of Strategy & Development, he now focuses on writing and executing the company’s business plans on the global scale. 

JAMIE AL-KADHIMI
Director of Strategy
& Development
JOHN DARLING
Global Head of Operations

John Darling - Global Head of Operations - Joined Chotto Matte in 2019 and leads the operations for Chotto Matte London, Toronto, St Tropez and Miami. He is also responsible for restructuring and implementing the global expansion strategy of the company. With more than two decades of successful entrepreneurial leadership and operational knowhow, John has mastered his commercial understanding of brand expansion and development by leading an impressive collection of fine dining destinations, from three Michelin Starred restaurants to luxury hotels. 

 

John’s career has seen him develop brands both on and off the high street,  from Loungers, All Bar One and Strada to Maze Mayfair and Lucky Cat, whilst also leading Gordon Ramsay’s premium dining venues.  

Gabor Fodor - Global Bar Manager - brings ten years of experience in managing luxury beverage departments in both restaurants and hotels

First starting his career as Assistant Bar Manager at Maze by Gordon Ramsay, he quickly showed strong management skills and ambition for growth.

Gabor has mastered his knowledge across a multitude of award-winning luxury hospitality brands such as the Artesian - elected World’s Best Bar - Chiltern Firehouse and The Hoxton, before joining Chotto Matte in 2020. 

Now overseeing the global bar strategy for the Chotto Matte restaurants worldwide, he is responsible for recruiting, managing and training the local bar teams. Thanks to his creative instinct, Gabor continues to develop the beverage identity of the brand by implementing new techniques and unique flavour combinations. 

GABOR FODOR Global Bar Manager
MARIE GUENOT
Senior International Marketing Manager

Marie Guenot - Senior International Marketing Manager – brings with her over five years of experience designing and executing marketing strategies for international luxury brands.

Working alongside Michelin star chefs across North America and Europe, Marie developed a series of successful communication and marketing initiatives.

Whilst completing an MBA in Brand and Marketing Management from INSEEC business school, Paris, Marie went on to work for Chef Thierry Marx, a pioneer in molecular cuisine. In this role, she created and executed the global marketing strategy along with contributing to the business development plans.

Before finding her way to London, Marie consulted for Chef Anne Sophie Pic, in France, on various marketing and expansion projects. In 2019 she joined the London-based restaurant group Caprice Holdings as Marketing Manager, working on a portfolio of popular high-end restaurants including Sexy Fish, Harry’s, J.Sheekey, 34 Mayfair... 

Joining Chotto Matte in May 2021 as Senior International Marketing Manager, Marie is currently responsible for leading the company’s global marketing team. Driven by her background in luxury restaurants, she aims to support Chotto Matte in becoming a leader in the industry.