Years ago, our father won big in a chance bet on the horses. With his winnings (about £300), he bought a second-hand Vauxhall and drove our family across France over the summer. The journey opened up a whole new world of exotic flavours – planting the seeds of a lifelong passion that lead us to one of the UK’s biggest culinary success stories.
My brother and I have always had a straightforward, ingredient-led approach to cooking and love of French food which has quietly revolutionised Britain’s contemporary dining scene. We have both won a coveted Michelin star in our own right and have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. It is reassuring to know that the ‘two Essex boys who cook French food’ are distinctly ego-free. ‘We don’t muck around with anything; it’s all about using the best.’
We approached the task of ‘Galvinising’ the food and drink offer at The Athenaeum from breakfast to all day dining and 24 hour room service in the same way we approach our other projects with family values firmly in mind. It is the Athenaeum way of thinking. We have ‘never said a cross word’ to one another, and working with another family-run operation has proved a natural fit.
‘Family means a lot to us. Most of our suppliers, who we call our partners, are family-owned. We love working with family businesses because they care a lot about what they do – that always shows through.’