Has there been more globetrotting member of the wine trade than Joe Fattorini in the last 12 months? As one of the presenters of ITV’s The Wine Show, which he has just finished filming a second series of, Fattorini has been here, there and everywhere quipping lines to camera. So what does he get up to when he’s back home and planning a summer holiday?
Whichever way the residents of Twickenham voted in the EU referendum they have got Brexit to thank for the imminent arrival of M Restaurants new M Bar & Grill concept. For it was only on the back of the Brexit vote that founder Martin Williams abandoned plans to open a third large venue in central London in favour of starting a new grill concept that could take premium dining to key London commuter towns. Richard Siddle joins Williams on a site visit of his new exciting venture a stone throw’s from the home of English rugby.
As we head in to August we thought it was time to reflect on the year so far with some key figures from the premium on-trade, to see how they see the world, their highs and lows for 2017 so far, what they hope to achieve in the rest of the year, and, what they are doing for their summer holidays. First up is Mark Andrew co-founder of Noble Rot restaurant and magazine.
Despite its reputation as one of Yorkshire’s leading pubs and restaurants, The Hinchliffe at Hebden Bridge, pulled off a coup when it convinced larger than life Manchester chef, Robert Owen Brown, to cross the Pennines and look to bring his classic, British dishes to a new Yorkshire audience. Shirley Kumar caught up with him in between increasingly busy services.
Last week Ben Walton of Ben’s Canteen hooked up with wine writer and PR consultant, Christina Rasmussen and regular contributor to The Buyer, to host a tasting with a difference: based on wines made by women winemakers. It proved a great success. Here we rewind the clock to when Christina and Ben first got to know each other whilst she interviewed him for an article looking at a business driven by burgers, wine and brunch. In that order…
Jack Dickinson, sommelier at TV chef’s Mark Greenaway’s eponymous Edinburgh restaurant, may only be 22, but he’s certainly got his head firmly screwed on when it comes to managing the restaurant’s 170-plus wine list. Helen Arnold talks to him about what inspires him and making sure he keeps traditional Old World customers happy as well as listing exciting new wines from Turkey, Lebanon and Armenia.
Roger Jones is one of a kind. Not only he is such generous, fantastic company, but he is a rare breed. A Michelin-starred chef who is as passionate about wine as he is the food he creates. He not only lists great wines from all over the world, he travels, visits and hosts wine dinners from Cape Town to New Zealand. This week lucky members of the trade will be invited by Roger and his wife, Sue, to take part in a series of events at their restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. But before he hits the stoves and corkscrew he shares his wine and food secrets.
Smith & Gertrude is the kind of bar that most people would want to have in their neighbourhood. Set up by thirty-something married couple Duncan and Amy Findlater two years ago, it has already become something of a local institution with its winning formula of a great wine selection and a simple bar menu of cheese, charcuterie and salads, all served up in a chilled atmosphere. Helen Arnold met up with the couple to discover what inspires them.
We are blessed in the UK wine trade to be able to attend so many importer and generic tastings. But it is one thing quietly assessing the wines, it is another hearing from your peers what is actually selling in their outlets. So for last week’s Wines of Germany tasting The Buyer helped host a debate of leading buyers from top restaurants and bars to see how well Germany is performing in their outlets.
To have your own vineyard supplying the wine, and a farm producing the meat must be the dream for many restaurateurs. Richard Gladwin, managing director of the Nutbourne group of London restaurants, that includes The Shed in Notting Hill, Rabbit on the King’s Road and Nutbourne in Battersea, is not only in this fortunate position, but he runs it along with his two brothers, as Helen Arnold discovers.