Being a food blogger and a lover of food, I’m all for finding new places to eat at and love it even more when people tell me about new foodie experiences or events happening in relation to food. So great to see my contact Alex Chatwin @TrufflePR emailing me every time they have something cool and food related happening around them or they’re featuring.
So, starting today The Endurance in Soho have some up and coming creative chefs taking over their kitchen giving them freedom to cook whatever they like and handling the food service for one month. I think this is an amazing opportunity for anyone to build on their experience and get a heads up in this fiercely competitive food industry. Even amateur MasterChef looks so competitive, I don’t think I’ll last the first round! I think I’ll just stick to what I do best- eating and writing about it 😛 I really love the idea about this whole concept of Food Spectrum that is being run by The Endurance and if featuring these guys on my blog helps them in any way then I’m all for it. God speed you guys!
I will definitely be checking it out myself in the next couple of days.
So here goes all the details about Food Spectrum and a feature on the chefs having their first go at the place and they go by the name Blanch & Shock. (The information has been provided has to me by Alex Chatwin at the Truffle PR Agency)
The main catalyst behind the concept is the lack of space for young restaurateurs who have the skills, dedication and passion but not necessarily the contacts, business skills or investor backing to embark upon the costly – not to mention risky – process of setting up a new restaurant. With Food Spectrum each chef will move into The Endurance kitchen for a month and will be given the opportunity to see their vision fully realised with free reign over the menu’s offerings. Every extreme of their creativity will be explored through a number of different sittings throughout the week which will add a different dimension to the food on show.
Primarily, there will be a lunch service from Monday to Friday where the chefs will choose a number of dishes specially selected to highlight the pinnacles of their expertise. Every Saturday they will run a full day service allowing the possibility for something more along the lines of a taster menu, acting as an extension of the skills exhibited during the week. One Sunday a month the chefs will be given the freedom to choose which kind of service they will run, allowing them to fully unleash their creativity and ideas to bring an experience to the diner which epitomises their approach to food. A drinks menu specially selected by a sommelier to match the food offerings will complement the whole experience.
The plan allows the chefs to test their food-making skills in a normal restaurant environment and customer interaction will be at the forefront of the experience. The project will serve as a great opportunity to learn and for this reason feedback will be encouraged. A regular blog and a meticulously monitored Twitter feed will prove key in the interaction between customers and the restaurant; an essential priority to any modern day start-up which should not be overlooked. The diner will participate in a restaurant experience which will not only let them sample food from the culinary names of tomorrow, but they will also play an integral part in establishing the foundation from which these young chefs can move forward. The use of good, honest, locally sourced produce means that Food Spectrum is tapping into the current trend for mid market, non-mobile, street food by bringing an option to diners that is simultaneously experimental, high quality and affordable.
Logistically, the plan has all the ingredients of a good one; simple, innovative and effective. With a fully equipped kitchen, a front-of house area with 54 covers, waiting staff, a management team, cleaning staff, a website portal and a PR team, Food Spectrum banishes the usual logistical challenges and costly obstacles of setting up a restaurant, offering a package that rationalises the prospects of making the dream possible once again. Whilst a proven history or established reputation are not at all required, owner of The Endurance, Billy Drew explains that, “The three characteristics for a good chef are determination, passion and talent – and they have to be deeply ingrained in that individual. The rest can be learnt.”
Through a combination of talent, flair and commitment from the chefs, along with customer interaction and support from the Food Spectrum team, The Endurance is set to be the stage from which aspiring chefs can build upon their own experience towards an established reputation and successful career within the Restaurant industry.
For further information & images, please contact:
Telephone: 020 71930808
Notes to editor:
- Food Spectrum will start on 6th August 2012
- Food Spectrum will take place at The Endurance, 90 Berwick Street, London W1F 0QB
- The lunch menu served from Monday to Friday is priced at £15 per head for three small plates
- The price points for the Saturday taster menu is £40
And a feature about the first set of chefs, Blanch & Shock:
The first chefs to be taking part in the Food Spectrum initiative will be Blanch & Shock, a trio of experimentally creative chefs who describe themselves as a ‘design studio and catering company’.
With an unconventional background in cookery Blanch & Shock are not only concerned with the taste and presentation of their food, but also with the psychology and history of our current dining cultures. Their modernist approach to cooking which uses locally sourced British ingredients alongside technologically inspired methods often challenges and intrigues their diners’ curiosity and taste buds. They have worked on a range of different projects, including food for theatrical performances, edible installations, pop-up dinners, research projects and restaurant takeovers.
Some of their more dramatic projects have included ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ which involved creating food for an experiential post-apocalyptic play where the main aim was to shock, disorientate and even unnerve their audience. Another dramatic piece by Blanch & Shock was ‘Exploding Cake’. Commissioned by Icon magazine for their 100th issue, Blanch & Shock created the explosion of a birthday cake that appeared to have been frozen in time. When recreating ‘Exploding Cake’ for the Experimental Food Society they did so as a performance piece where the audience was then allowed to pluck the cake from the air. Other visual elements of their projects have included syringes filled with garnishes, and a ‘Bone Dinner’ in which all courses were served on bones, contained bones, or were visually inspired by bones.
Since these earlier projects the approach to their briefs has evolved. They first moved towards courses and menu style presentation when working with the ‘Light Collective’, creating a five-course menu with each course representing a different colour across a spectrum. Projects in a similar vein have included their takeover of Burger Monday at Andrew’s Café on Grey’s Inn Road. They also took part in a food and medicine event at The Wellcome Trust where they consulted with academics to create a range of dishes based on the early modern humours. Further pop-up dinners they have staged included a Christmas Dinner at The Russet in Hackney Downs and a meal as part of Nose-to-Tail Fortnight, which focuses on ethical eats, and the process of using a whole animal in a meal.
Mike, Josh and Amy, the faces of Blanch & Shock, all met working for an art collective and have backgrounds in subjects as varied as English, Philosophy, Photography and Fine Art. They are as interested in the end product of their cooking as they are in the way produce gets to us and the food they make is done with thought and difference. They plan on revisiting some of their favourite dishes as well as introducing some new elements in order to bring the best they can to the diners at Food Spectrum. Working with their suppliers to use produce which is in season and available the menu will gradually evolve over their residency at The Endurance.
With their enthusiasm, passion, originality and willingness to think outside the box, Blanch & Shock will undoubtedly be bringing something experimental and exciting to the diners at what is arguably London’s most exciting new food initiative this summer.”
So there you have it. An opportunity to have something cool and exciting to visit, experience and talk about starting today. I think we need to support local talent and Food Spectrum is a great example. People behind The Endurance, the management and whoever is involved in this concept, has done a great job of doing just that! All the best of luck to you guys!
More information on the service and timings is available from the website of The Endurance as well. Please click here to be redirected to their website.