“Unfinished business”: Peter Sanchez-Iglesias looks to reopen Casamia

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias to reopen is Bristol restaurant Casamia

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Peter Sanchez-Iglesias says he wants to bring his flagship Casamia back following its closure in 2022.

Posting on Instagram, the high-profile Bristol and London-based chef wrote: “Casamia will reopen again. Unfinished business. If you know of any development/projects where a gastronomic restaurant could live, please DM me.” 

Talking to Restaurant​, Sanchez-Iglesias said that he missed focusing on a single, high-reaching kitchen. 

"I just want to be back in Casamia cooking. Since we relaunched the restaurant in 2016​ my focus has been taken off that restaurant because we were always working on new projects, including Paco Tapas, Pi Shop and Decimo. I was never really able to cook there. This is about a return to the kitchen for me. If I don't do it now I'll never do it. I'm 38 years old. I want to get out of my comfort zone again." 

Casamia closed around a year-and-a-half-ago after nearly 25 years​ with Sanchez-Iglesias citing rapidly increasing costs that had made the business “financially unviable”.

Within Bristol’s Harbourside area, Casamia  reopened after lockdown with a more edgy look and menu and a more theatrical approach after Sanchez-Iglesias handed creative control to Zak Hitchman, formerly of high-profile Welsh restaurant Ynyshir. 

The changes were divisive, with some customers taking issue with the pair’s more contemporary take on high-end dining.

The site now trades as the more casual but still relativity high-end Casa, which explores Casamia’s roots as a family-run Italian restaurant.

Sanchez-Iglesias says he would not rule out any location for a new iteration of Casamia. "As long as the opportunity is right and I can get world class ingredients produce I'll go wherever. But my family would have to be able to come with me," he says.

Acknowledging that his flagship had at time struggled with profitability, the chef added that he would consider a hotel or development to which Casamia could add value.

"It takes a lot of money to open something like Casamia from scratch and it will never be a very profitable business. A location which needs something to pull people in would make a lot of sense." 

The chef will soon start developing dishes for the project and is in the process of mapping out the concept. It is likely to be comparable to its most recent incarnation.

"We want to make people feel something. I want it to be exciting and immersive. I want to create something special." 

Sanchez-Iglesias is among the South West’s most prominent chef restaurateurs, also running the Michelin-starred Pacos Tapas in Bristol and Decimo in London.

Casamia was opened in 1997 in the Bristol suburb of Westbury-on-Trym by the brother’s Spanish father Paco and Bristol-born mother Sue.

The brothers worked in the kitchen as teenagers and soon developed a love of and aptitude for Italian cooking and were given free rein in the kitchen in 2006, attracting their first Michelin star in 2009.

Casamia moved to its new home at The General development in 2016 shortly after Sanchez-Iglesias’ older brother and culinary collaborator Jonray died after a four-year battle with cancer.

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