In 2013, a young man named Modou Diagne arrived in Glasgow, and, with little to his name, slept rough for ten days.
Fast forward seven years, and that same young man is set to open his very own restaurant, 111 by Modou, in Glasgow, this August.
Thanks to his own incredible work ethic, and being taken under the wing of renowned Glasgow chef Nico Simeone, Modou, 26, will take over the reigns of the Cleveden Road restaurant, formerly 111 by Nico.
The restaurant was previously set to open in March 2020, but plans were put on hold due to Covid-19.
But even a pandemic couldn’t stop Modou from cooking, as he helped provide emergency food and support to some of the most vulnerable people in his community, preparing weekly meals for St Gregory’s Church in Maryhill.
The young chef also helped friend Nico and his team successfully pivot their business by launching Home by Nico, which served over 100,000 people and kept the Six by Nico spirit alive during lockdown.
Modou’s new restaurant will offer guests the choice of a six course or four course seasonal tasting menu, available every Tuesday – Saturday.
The popular Total Trust concept – that Modou and his team were at the forefront of pioneering at 111 by Nico – will remain.
Total Trust will be available every Sunday and offers a five course menu designed entirely by the chef’s choice of ingredients on the day.
“Having moved here in 2013, I would never have dreamed that I would be in this position seven years later,” said Modou.
“I am more than ready for this next chapter at 111 and I look forward to showing everyone in the industry what I can do here at 111 by Modou”.
He added: “Throughout lockdown I was busy helping my mate Nico cook and prepare the ‘Home by Nico’ kits and had the chance to give something back to the community who helped and supported me from the moment I arrived in Glasgow.
“This city and the people who live here have welcomed me with open arms and I am forever grateful. It’s an exciting time in my life and I can’t wait to have the doors to 111 by Modou open”.
Modou’s uplifting story of hard work and determination meeting hope and friendship captured the heart of the nation as Modou, originally from Senegal, quickly climbed up the ranks from Kitchen Porter to Head Chef.
Nico met and hired Modou in June 2014. Within two months he noticed the young man had an unbelievable work ethic, a healthy respect and a positive attitude towards work.
Chef Nico began to teach 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. Modou was able to save enough money working at 111 to move into a hostel and get off the streets.
In March 2020 Chef Nico offered him the opportunity to make his mark in the industry under his own restaurant brand.
Working with Nico over the years, Modou has played an intrinsic role developing and growing the Six by Nico, Home by Nico and 111 by Nico concepts and menus.
111 by Modou will open mid- August 2020 at 111 Cleveden Rd, Kelvinside, Glasgow.