Glasgow’s 111 by Nico is about to witness its biggest change to date, rather than the usual news of new menu concepts, the latest news is a story of hard work and determination meeting hope and friendship. Current owner Nico Simeone will step down from the restaurant which will be taken over by close colleague and friend, Modou Diagne. 111 by Nico will close on Monday 23rd March for refurbishment and re-branding to become ‘111 by Modou’ from Friday April 3rd.
Diagne is originally from Senegal and he spent much of his younger life in Spain. Aged 18 he travelled to Glasgow with £200 in his pocket to look for an opportunity in life. He slept rough for ten days until he found refuge in a Shelter charity church that helps the homeless and eventually, found permanent shelter.
After a year continuously applying for jobs with no success due to limited English, he stumbled across an advert placed by Simeone for a kitchen porter at 111 by Nico. Within minutes of the ad going live, Diagne applied.
Simeone interviewed and hired Diagne in June 2014. Simeone immediately recognised a worthy work ethic displayed by Diagne, and a positive attitude towards work – qualities he looks for in any employee.
Simeone taught him the fundamentals of kitchen hygiene, to understand basic food ingredients, how to hold a knife, develop more complex skills and eventually the basics of cooking. Diagne saved enough money through working at 111 to move into a hostel and get off the streets.
From this point forward there was no stopping his ambition and drive to succeed. Working with Simeone, Diagne has played a key role in the 111 by Nico story and its success. He helped with the launch of previous menus such as the ‘Trust’ and ‘Total Trust’ concepts, and spearheaded the recently introduced and hugely popular 10-Course Tasting Menu.
Climbing up the ranks from Kitchen Porter to Head Chef, Diagne’s journey at 111 was only the beginning as Simeone then offered him the opportunity to make his mark in the industry developing his own brand.
Commenting on the development, Simeone said: “The time feels right, for both myself and Modou. This has been a personal dream of mine since meeting Modou in 2014, not only getting to know him as a close colleague, but he has become like family to me.
“Six by Nico is going from strength to strength, and as such there are increasing requirements for my energy to continue that development. There is no one I trust more to hand the reins to than Modou.
“This is Modou’s time to write his own story in the industry, and I will always be there to offer guidance and support when he needs it. Modou is ready to begin his next challenge so as one chapter comes to an end for me at 111, another opens for Modou – and I am really excited about it!”
Modou Diagne said: “This opportunity is completely life changing for myself and my family back home. Having moved here in 2013, I would never have dreamed that I would be in this position 7 years later”.
“My hard work has paid off but more so, this is a really special to me as Nico is like a brother. I am more than ready for this next chapter at 111 and I look forward to showing everyone in the industry what myself and my team can do here at 111 by Modou”.
We must say that this is a truly remarkable story and we wish Modou Diagne every success in his next step, 111 by Modou. We are also very confident that our friends at The Kitchen Porters Club will be celebrating this news, Modou Diagne the latest in a line of amazing people in our great industry that start their working lives as a KP.
111 by Modou will open on Friday 3rd April 2020 at 111 Cleveden Rd, Kelvinside, Glasgow G12 0JU.