Chef Justin North
Chef Justin North. Photo: Janie Barrett

Scott Bolles

JUSTIN NORTH HAS KEPT A LOW profile since the dramatic collapse in 2012 of his Becasse restaurant group, but the chef is about to jump back in the kitchen.

North has been scouted to step in at cafe Mrs Sippy in Double Bay, as well as oversee the food at a new restaurant opening at the London Hotel in Paddington.

"Yes, we are in negotiations with Justin, we're close," says the co-owner of both venues, Ben May.

While the multimillion-dollar collapse of North's food interests posed questions over his business acumen, his talent at the pans has never been in doubt.

"I thought it was a great opportunity to snap someone like him up," May says. The new restaurant at the London, which opens in about a month, doesn't yet have a name.

"It'll be a 40-seater, upstairs with outdoor area. Its menu won't have a particular ethnic bent, and certainly won't be Mexican. I was thinking of calling it Not a Mexican Restaurant," May quips.