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THE NEW ORDER

West London Food

16th Apr 2013

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THE NEW ORDER

PATTY&BUN
Joe Grossman has taken Marylebone and the food world by storm with his incomparably delicious Patty&Bun burgers. He’s made us completely forget about that pre-summer diet…

What made you want to work with food?
I’ve always been passionate about food and wanted to get involved in the industry since I can’t remember when. With Patty&Bun, one thing led to another when I suddenly found myself working at Roast in Borough Market, where I learned a huge amount. Then, a few years back, I came across Shake Shack in New York, which is a brilliant casual fast-food burger concept. It was just when the burger boom was starting to gain some traction in London and I thought ‘wow, this concept could work really well here.' Funnily enough, Patty&Bun is nothing like Shake Shack in terms of operation – it’s more understated, what I think of as a little vibing joint and not-so-fast food. My principles are the same, though – keep it simple and focus on fresh, quality ingredients I can get my hands on.

What makes your burgers better than others – any secret ingredients?
I wouldn’t say they’re better – that’s the thing about a burger, it’s completely subjective and everyone has their preference. We don’t do the American-style burgers that MEATliquor, say, do; ours are more filthy, with premium British beef (100% grass-fed Aberdeen Angus), and the brioche bun is a bespoke recipe made just for us. We just focus on doing a few things as well as we possibly can.

What do you think of pop-up businesses?
I think they’re brilliant. We wouldn’t have been able to get the site on James Street without the traction and buzz we generated from the pop-ups.

Do you miss the independence of being a pop-up business?
No. They were great and I loved every minute of them, but the aim was always to use them as a platform into a permanent site.

Tell us about your orginal pop-up at Doodle Bar in Battersea 
That was really where it all started - Mark Jankel of Street Kitchen who's involved in Patty & Bun, helped me a lot with all the development of the products, it's been a real evolution, we always tweak and amend things with all the burgers, chips and wings all the time and Marky's prep kitchen is at Doodle Bar - and they have a little hatch that they serve from as well down there - we decided to start doing Friday night's from the Hatch and the rest as they say is history!

Why choose Marylebone for Patty&Bun?
When your small pop-up is looking to take the leap of faith into bricks and mortar, you don’t have the funds to get the exact sites you’d like. We were doing it on a tight budget, and you have to adapt and bend a little. James Street was down to luck and timing – the site was perfect for what we wanted to do: keep it small and understated, and offered a brilliant central location.

Following from your stint at The Tabernacle, when are you coming back to Notting Hill?
I'd love to do something in Notting Hill in the future for sure.... It'd be an easy commute for one! We'll see!

On that topic, you live locally - what do you love about the neighbourhood?
I like the ability to step out the front door and be a stones throw from everything. Also handy being near the site!

Describe your ideal weekend
Coffee, a big boozy meal with friends, poker, flipping burgers and seeing the sunshine.

What’s your drink of choice?
Depends, but I’m loving whisky on the rocks with a little ginger ale.

Which chef or restaurant inspires you the most?
There’s some great stuff out there, restaurants and pop-ups, though at the moment I love Pitt Cue Co. off Carnaby Street. Tom and the guys there do the best BBQ in London.

What’s your favourite burger?
The Diner burger in NYC, Brooklyn – an absolute belter!

What food trends do you predict?
Obviously comfort food is very much in at the moment, with chicken and pizza spots really kicking off. I’m not really one for trends, though – I just think that if you do something really well and can do it consistently, you’ve always got a chance.

What are your plans for the summer - stay local or go abroad?
WORK WORK WORK.

What inspires you daily?
To keep working as hard as possible and put on a great experience for our customers!

What’s up next for Patty & Bun?
We'll just keep on it at James St and see what happens... 

HONESTLY HEALTHY
Describing herself as a ‘passionate foodie who loves to be healthy’, Natasha Corrett is a gourmet vegetarian chef who’s aiming to revolutionise Londoners’ eating habits and educate their bodies into optimum health. The best part is that she’ll deliver straight to your door…

What’s the concept behind Honestly Healthy?
It’s all about living a healthy lifestyle, which I try to promote through an alkaline food diet. We go by the 70/30 rule, so you can still let your hair down but reap the benefits of alkaline eating. I want to show people how to feel their best all the time, without compromising on taste and treats.

Tell us about the Alkaline diet
To be alkaline you need to know which foods are acidic, ie meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and dairy; these should only be eaten 30% of the time. For the rest, you should stick to delicious green and vibrant vegetables, pulses, whole grains and sugar alternatives.

Who’s who in the team?
It’s me and a number of chefs. I founded the company and my godmother Vicki Edgson is the nutritional advisor. She wrote my book Honestly Healthy with me.

What inspired you to set up Honestly Healthy?
Vicki inspired me from an early age, and my mother [interior designer Kelly Hoppen] is also very health-conscious. My dad has two French restaurants so that side of the family was foodie too – hence my passion to bring both together!

Why run a delivery-based service?
People were asking me how to have my food in their homes. It was an organic process – I started cooking in my kitchen and delivering everything in my Mini with my Jack Russell dog in tow. Now we’re national!

Tell us about your book, Honestly Healthy
It’s done amazingly well. We’ve sold 50,000 copies and we were number one on Amazon’s food and drink chart and number three on the general book chart. I’m writing the next book now, it’s coming out next spring.

You live locally – what do you love about the neighbourhood?
I’ve lived here for seven years and still love it. There are so many different vibes you can escape to – there’s a great village feel to W10, while you get that real buzzy atmosphere around Portobello Road or can go a bit more upmarket around Westbourne Grove.

Which chef or restaurant inspires you the most?
Heston Blumenthal is amazing – I’m in awe of what he can do with food. I also love Ottolenghi’s experimentation with spices and flavours.

What inspires you?
Inspiring other people to make conscious choices, for the greater good of our environment and selves.

THE RUM KITCHEN
The Caribbean-inspired beach shack restaurant and cocktail bar tucked away on the All Saints Road has had Notting Hill on its toes since it opened. We spoke to Alex Potter, one of the guys behind London’s latest hot spot, about its unequivocal success.

What’s the concept behind The Rum Kitchen?
Having looked at the restaurant landscape in London, we felt there was a Caribbean-shaped hole in the offering. Most people’s experience of Caribbean food is once a year at carnival. We wanted to show that it’s healthy, robust in flavour and can be beautifully presented. The Rum Kitchen was a concept we developed because we felt there was so much we could use in creating a unique restaurant space with regards to music, rum and its culture. We developed the restaurant’s mantra – ‘no rain, no rainbow’ – to help identify that.

Why the Caribbean?
We’ve all had a personal affinity with the region’s culture, whether through a love of rum, the cooking techniques, the music or even its history.

You’ve had past success with Ping and Love Brunch. What made you get into hospitality?
We all love to eat and drink, and we enjoy each other’s company and that of those around us. I think people often take life too seriously. If you have your family, your friends and your health, not much else matters. Hospitality was our path to working in a space that we personally love.

Who’s who in the team?
There are four managing partners – Jonny Boud, Fraser Shipsides, Stevie Thomas and myself. We all play different but equally important parts in our brand’s development and the everyday running of our venues. We have an incredible management and kitchen team who are the heart of the restaurant.

You’ve set up shop in an important part of Notting Hill. How did the locals react?
At first everyone was concerned as they’d had problems with previous operators. So we decided to meet up with the local residents every two weeks to discuss how we could contribute to the neighbourhood. I’m pleased to say a number are now regulars!

What chef or restaurant inspires you the most?
I'm consistently impressed with Barrafina in Soho, my go to place for Tapas and a glass of sherry. Also equally inspired by what friends of mine such as Jackson Boxer over at Brunswick House and Rita's are doing and my best pal from school, Joe Grossmann at Patty & Bun.

Where do you all live?
We’re all West London boys, born and bred.

Describe your ideal weekend
Walking around Borough Market for lunch with my girlfriend, then heading into Soho late afternoon for dinner with friends, followed by Sunday lunch in Notting Hill. Come and check out our Reggae Roast on Sunday with a Nelson’s Blood cocktail, our take on the Bloody Mary, but with rum.

What’s your drink of choice at The Rum Kitchen?

Hands down, our house grog.

What are your plans for the summer?
I’m off to Tobago to explore a different region of the Caribbean, and then to Ibiza for our Love Brunch party over the August Bank Holiday.

POTAGE
Just six months old, Potage was set up by local foodie Georgia Cummings who gave up an office job to pursue her dream career as a chef. Having experienced an overwhelming success, the lady in question told us about her home-delivered, fast, fresh and simple meals in a pot…

What made you want to get into food?
Food gives me great pleasure. Growing up, every meal was an occasion, whether it was a boiled egg or a birthday lunch; it was an opportunity to enjoy food and company. Many of my best memories are from sitting around the table.

What were you doing before Potage?
I went to Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland for three months after leaving school, and spent the following summer working in a Swiss mountain restaurant kitchen. After university I worked in marketing for two years, which I didn’t enjoy much, and so in autumn 2011, following a delicious hot winter stew in Hyde Park, I decided to try a career in food. It took two sleepless weeks for me to decide what to do, and after that I started making plans and spent the following year ‘moonlighting’, all in preparation for Potage.

Who’s who in the team?

I’m mainly a one-woman band, though my brother is chairman and keeps a watchful eye on both me and the numbers. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my family and friends. Their involvement has been vital.

Why did you set up a delivery-based service?

It was a good way to start, and healthy home delivery is a new and exciting concept. People have less and less time but are increasingly concerned about eating well. I wanted to create a home delivery service to meet those concerns.

What’s your drink of choice?
Elderflower cordial – my granny always makes it.

You live locally, what do you love about the neighbourhood?
The parks, Notting Hill Carnival and the Coronet on Tuesdays.

What inspires you?
People. This Luke Johnson quote never fails to inspire: “For me, success is about being vitally engaged in something worthwhile, making a difference for the better, and having fun while I’m at it.”

Which chef or restaurant inspires you the most?
Eric Treuille, the amazing man behind Books for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent. The shop walls are lined with cookery books and there’s a small café at the back where the menu changes daily. I went to talk to him when I wanted to set up Potage. At first he told me I was crazy, but since I quit my job, he has been somewhat of a mentor. He also let me have a Saturday stall outside his shop last winter.

What’s next for Potage?
I’m developing new recipes for my summer menu – you might soon see some antipasti deli pots to go with our focaccia and salads! I’m also working on a Potage blog that will have recipes, images from the kitchen, cookery book reviews and information on food events around London.

What are your plans for the summer - stay local or go abroad?
Lots of bicycling around delivering pots!

What is your food heaven and food hell?
My food heaven is fresh ingredients made into simple dishes. My food hell has got to be violet creams.

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