Born in Kenya Hiten Lakani moved from Nairobi to London when he was 10 and loved his new life and new home. At 20, a young man with a sense of adventure, he decided to take 6 months off to explore the globe. By his own admission one of the easiest jobs to find when you’re abroad is in the restaurant industry so even though he originally worked in the retail he got himself job in a kitchen to keep funding his travels
“I roamed around here and there and ended up in Sweden and that’s where my chef life really started.”
One day he was mesmerized by a chef who was cutting iceberg lettuce in a way he’d never seen before, in that distracted moment he ended up cutting his own finger quite badly and still has the scar to this day. He’d always been a foodie and enjoyed cooking at home but that was the moment when he decided he needed to learn not only how to chop lettuce just like that chef but everything else there is to know about cooking. He learnt by working in different kitchens with all different types of cuisine for free. “I was never shy of saying I don't know, people are too shy to admit they don’t know, I worked hard and I absolutely loved it, it was my initiation.” He got to know lots of different chefs in the industry and they all contributed to his training.
Hitun felt very lucky because working as a chef gave him the opportunity to travel to many different countries. He loved the fact that he could just say yes to a new opportunity, pack his bags and set off. He had the ability to adapt quickly to different cultures and what supposed to be a six month working holiday ended up being a 15 year adventure.
Hitun eventually became the European purchasing general manager for the Hard Rock Cafe in London and then the European Director for Hard Rock Cafe International heavily involved in menu development Head hunted by the Al Shaya franchise group he then moved to Bahrain to help them expand their dining division opening brands like Pink Berry (frozen youghurt) and and Le Pain Quotidien.
After 3 years living in Bahrain where curfews, tanks and guns were becoming part of the norm, he decided it was time to come home. He returned to London in 2012 and consulted for a bit but nothing really excited him until he found a new way adventure right here in London. Hitun always had an idea for an evening dining restaurant concept and when Bombay Bicycle shut it’s doors 412 Essex Road became available he decided it would be crazy not to go for it. It’s a great location in need of some cafe love and so he tweaked the idea from evening to daytime keeping the menu fresh and healthy with Scandinavian meals that are filling but healthy.
3COURSE is a daytime place to hang out, somewhere you can get great tea or coffee and read a book or surf the net that also has earthy simple affordable food. At lunch time he offers cold and warm sandwiches Scandinavian style served with dark rye bread, which is wheat bread with less sugar very filling and healthy with different toppings.