Calypso cooking is a taste of home for trio

Homecoming: Preston designers (l-r) Jonathan Richardson, Roger Gascoigne and Vera Ralph with Turtle Bay boss Ajith Jayawickrema
Homecoming: Preston designers (l-r) Jonathan Richardson, Roger Gascoigne and Vera Ralph with Turtle Bay boss Ajith Jayawickrema
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A top London restaurant design company’s first project in Preston has meant a happy homecoming for three of its staff.

Founding partner Roger Gascoigne, associate Jonathan Richardson and new team member Vera Ralph were all delighted when Fusion DNA, who have created more than 300 high profile bars and restaurants since forming 16 years ago, were commissioned to work on Turtle Bay, a new Caribbean eating place in the city centre.

“Preston doesn’t often crop up on our clients’ target towns list,” said Roger, who grew up in Barton and went to school in Kirkham. “But Ajith Jayawickrema, the owner of Turtle Bay, is brilliant at finding locations that are under-supplied and receptive to new ideas and Preston seems to fit that bill.

“Plus Jonathan has been evangelical about Preston’s attractions for years now, from the need to preserve the bus station, to North End getting back up the football league ladder - and having a great Caribbean restaurant in the heart of the city.”

Turtle Bay is set to open in Crystal House, on Preston’s Flag Market, in November. The project has been a trip down memory lane for Roger who started his architectural career in Crystal House, with Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall on an upstairs floor in the building.

Restaurant boss Jayawickrema said: “Preston is a city with a huge population that is culturally diverse and we can’t wait to introduce everyone to our rum cocktails, jerk chicken and reggae rhythms. Hopefully Prestonians will enjoy Turtle Bay as much as people do elsewhere.”

Jonathan, who has been with Fusion DNA for 10 years, went to Preston College and the University of Central Lancashire and still has family living in Penwortham.

Vera, who left Longridge less than a year ago to try her luck in London, has found herself travelling back to Preston on a regular basis to work on this project.