G: Tell us about Merchants Tavern.
After having worked with other people for 18 years, I knew that the next step in my career was to become head chef and do my own thing. Working my great team of business partners on Merchants Tavern has turned a dream into a reality.
G: What is unique about the restaurant?
Our aim has simply been to create a relaxed environment where people can enjoy great food. Patrick Clayton Malone, my business partner, has done a fantastic job on the design and I think that together we have provided a great eating experience that impresses diners while making them feel at home. I think nowadays, eating out is about the whole experience – not just good food but a good atmosphere too.
G: Why did you choose to open it in Shoreditch?
It’s where I live, and so it makes sense to stick to what you know. Shoreditch has been increasing in popularity for restaurants with a more relaxed atmosphere. Merchants Tavern fits in well with this. It proves that there are some great dishes to be found in East London.
G: How do you select the menu for the restaurant?
My menu is based on seasonality – I don’t really know how else to cool. I like simplicity and I think it is extremely important to use the freshest ingredients at the right time. It’s the reason our menu changes so often.
G: What would you say has been your most memorable experience while developing the restaurant?
Writing my first menu and watching everything else coming together has been fantastic. I’m proud to be part of such a strong team here.