Will Devlin has been Head Chef at The Windmill, by Richard Phillips since 2012. Prior to this he worked at my favourite restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, Thackeray’s as Sous Chef. Will has teamed up with James Spencer, inviting a small group to the first of their nO FixEd/aBoDE Pop UPS, at The Little Bull in Brenchley. I talk to him about his career so far and plans for the future. Read More
Many of you will know I have been following Arnaud Bignon’s work for a while now. My favourite chef and culinary artist he executes his vision with perfection, whilst surrounded by a highly skilled team. I didn’t have to be asked twice to try his latest lunch menu.
Talli Joe is the brainchild of Chef Sameer Taneja, (formerly of Benares fame). The restaurant offers “half plates and full drinks to present a new avatar of India on your table”. The dishes reflect Joe and his trip to the India of today, be it the food of local families, street markets or the latest catch of fish. I was first invited to taste the whole menu and the extensive range of cocktails by Avi and Ritu, co- owners of the business. I have been back several times since, taking my mother who loves the place. Talli means tipsy and from the size of the cocktail list it’s not a surprise that people leave with a smile on their face!
In the middle of the white colonnade of The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells, lies The Eating House. The restaurant is found inside the Tunbridge Wells hotel, overlooking the cobbles and bandstand. Their aim is to provide a relaxed, informal dining room serving food all day, seven days a week. I am a regular but hadn’t been for a while as my last experience was… well let’s just say they were having an off day!
When Kurt Zdesar told me BouillabaisseW1 was no more, I was really sad to hear it hadn’t been successful, despite the amazing menu Chef Jordan Sclare had put together. In its place is Black Roe, offering Pacific Rim cuisine, poke, (pronounced pokay), seafood and grills. Having been invited to the soft launch, I am lucky enough to be able to try every dish on the menu.
My clients will tell you my business is managing private affairs, introductions to key professionals and providing luxury concierge. Over many years I have built close relationships with people who are true artists in their field, so I thought, why not write about them and let the world know where their passion and drive come from. I set up a blog which can be found on my website, bibiroy.co.uk and have written several pieces recently on my favourite chefs. Now I am by no means a food critic or food photographer, but any restaurant that can evoke childhood memories and create such a warm happy feeling in my belly, deserves a write-up.
Getting to know Group Executive Chef Rohit Ghai, JKS Restaurants
There is rarely a time when I have deviated from saying, “my mother’s kheer and my aunty’s biryani are the best I have ever tasted”. But then I visited Gymkhana! Whenever I crave the food of my childhood with a subtle twist of the unexpected, I always head to a JKS restaurant. Chef Rohit has had an extensive career with Oberoi, Taj Hotels and UK Michelin starred restaurants. Since 2013 he has overseen the outstanding Trishna Group created by the Sethi siblings. As a great admirer I wanted to know more about his work, life and vision.
Getting to know Head Chef Shane Hughes
Thackerays, Royal Tunbridge Wells
I have been eating at Thackerays for many years, always favouring it for birthdays and special occasions. When the Head Chef left in 2014, I was not sure if I would return. I am so glad I did. Shane Hughes is one talented straight-talking individual. I bow my hat to you Sir!
Getting to know Chef Arnaud Bignon
The Greenhouse, Mayfair
I have been following Arnaud’s work for some time now. My favourite chef and culinary artist, he executes his vision with perfection. There is simply no one like him. Read More
Getting to know Executive Chef Jordan Sclare
BouillabaisseW1 (soon to be Black Roe) – Chotto Matte
I was first introduced to Jordan Sclare by my long-time friend Kurt Zdesar, founder of Chotto Matte, Bouillabaisse, Ping Pong, Nobu, Mews of Mayfair and Icha Icha. I have remained an avid fan of his work ever since, watching their amazing partnership flourish.