By Kerry Crick – Managing Consultant
The start of summer, beautiful blue skies, some of London’s best restaurants and bars, London’s Regent’s Park and a cracking team to explore with!
One of the great things we are encouraged to do here at Appetite, is immerse ourselves and explore all that our awesome industry has to offer. The hospitality industry is worth 4% of the UK’s GDP and we are lucky enough to be in the heart of it, close to many of the leading names and working alongside some of the most exciting emerging concepts.
Nick Clover, our CEO & leader, recognises the need to be in the thick of it and actively encourages as little time ‘at our desks’ as possible, so off we went with a company ticket and even a bit of spending money, and without a specific agenda other than to BE INSPIRED and come away even more in love with our dynamic and ever-changing industry. And boy, did we!
Appetite works extensively in both casual to premium dining, including multiple rosettes and Michelin star and cover both front of house and chef recruitment to board level. We have consultants at varying points of their journey from brand new resourcers in their first 6 months, to seasoned recruiters of over 10+ years’ experience, and with the diversity that Taste has to offer, there was genuinely something for everyone!
My personal highlights included Bubbledogs – part of JKS Partners, offering a speak-easy Gourmet Hotdog paired with Champagne – what could be better? I think my face says it all!
A second exceptional experience was speaking to the ladies at Ladies of Restaurants who also scooped the much coveted award of Best in Taste 2018. Ladies of Restaurants is a collective of women who work in hospitality in the U.K. – networking, training, learning, laughing, eating & drinking.
Got to love a little bit of girl power!
Here’s what the rest of the team had to say:
Holly Ridgers – Chef Resourcer, Branded & Casual Dining
Brand new into recruitment, Holly has been with us for just 3 months. Safe to say her eyes were wide and her jaw on the floor!
“My best bit was seeing all the different food stalls, the best dish was the Lamb Cutlets from Chai Wu and the Pip & Nut Peanut Butter Ice-Cream was delicious. It was one of the best experiences being able to go along and see what is was all about…”
Leon Beattie – Senior Consultant, (Premium) Branded & Casual Dining
“For me, the best food was easily the Lamb Cutlets from Roka. The meat comes pink yet the fat is crisp and charred, moist, deep spicy Korean spice flavours with heat and that amazing charred flavour.
And always great to see a familiar face! Hey Valerio Antonaccio
In addition, one of the most humbling visits was to the guys at the social enterprise company Brewgooder, who through their beer sales provide clean drinking water and educational support to people in Africa.”
Daniel Harbert – Chef Consultant, Premium Casual Dining
Ok, so Dan had A LOT of thoughts about Taste of London and was literally a kid in a candy shop!
“It was ALL about the food for me. The best bits:
- Charcoal Lamb AND Prawns – Chai Wu
- Spicy Seafood Salad – lovely cold refreshing salsa – Corazon
- N’duja Scotch Egg and Jerk Buttermilk Wings – James Cochran
- Slow braised beef rib with pickled red onion – Roka
- Amazing dumplings from Truffle Shui Mai – Duddells
Lucie Dissaux – Chef Resourcer, Fine Dining
“My highlight was definitely the team building.
In addition, the opportunity to really discover the cuisines of some of the businesses we work with really brought it to life, especially Roka & Club Gascon.”
Toby Wilde – Senior Chef Consultant, Branded & Casual Dining
Sagardi was the absolute stand out for me…a basque restaurant, specialising in Spanish cuisine, with a big focus on Txuletón dry aged beef, cooked on oak fire grills. Incredible flavour, literally melts in the mouth.
Mitch Simpson – Front of House Resourcer – (Premium) Branded & Casual Dining
My highlight food-wise from Taste of London was Scott Hallsworth’s Freakscene ‘Chicken Fried Chicken with Peanut Soy & Pickled Cucumber.’ The chicken was sliding off the bone, the peanut soy was a brilliant balance of salty and sweet, and the pickled cucumber swooped in at the end to give a tangy ‘zing.’
The whole weekend was a great opportunity to immerse ourselves with some of the best operators in London. It was such a privilege to spend 5 hours surrounded by chefs and ambassadors who are as passionate and caring about their product as those at Taste.
Who knew that Team Appetite could be such a bunch of foodies! Oh yeah.. part of the territory!
A fab few days exploring the best of London’s gastronomy – until next time..
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