RoM - So Andrew, thanks for taking the time from your busy pre-launch schedule to have chat with us about Mamucium. Clearly we are in an office and not at your kitchen pass though, so how's the build coming along?
AG - Really well thanks. The kitchen is in, and is currently undergoing a few tweaks, so it's only a matter of weeks away from completion, and we can't wait to get in there and start work.
RoM - What kind of kitchen and dining room layout and equipment do you have in the pipeline?
AG - It's a fully state of the art kitchen, with 4 built in waterbaths, the latest Thermomix machines, amongst other things, all of which are there to deliver a better product on the plate. Most importantly, it's been really exciting to be involved in designing a scratch built kitchen, based around me and my team, rather than taking over one which was built in somebody else's vision.
RoM - And how's the recruitment coming along, since it can be tricky to source the right calibre of staff in Manchester.
AG - Again very well. The team comprises a lot of new faces, along with a number of people who I've worked with for many years and who I trust implicitly to deliver what we need. One member of the team has worked with me for 8 years, when he joined me as an apprentice, moving between 3 hotels during this stint, which is great.
RoM - So onto the bit that matters; the food. Could you give us a bit of in insight into the menu and ethos?
AG - We will be placed in the high end fine dining market, sitting alongside the current group in the city, in keeping with the rest of the hotel which will be a high end boutique style hotel, with great quality throughout. Food wise, there's a focus on using the best possible produce, locally sourced where possible, highlighting our regional gems.
Lots of classical dishes will be on the menu such as Lancashire Hot Pot, Fish and Chips and Goosnargh Chicken with Blacksticks Dauphinoise, Manchester Tart, Trinity Burnt Custard with Eccles cake, along with less locally influenced dishes such as Dover Sole and Himalayan salt aged Beef FIllet with an Ox Cheek Pudding. Generally we aim for a high standard with competitive prices. There will also be an Afternoon Tea offering, in our coffee house during the day.
Supplier wise the focus is again local, using both poultry and also butter from Goosnargh up near Preston, salmon from Manchester Smoke House and our coffee beans are roasted in Salford.
RoM - You've been around a long time from a young age. How has industry and restaurant scene changed in Manchester?
AG - A great deal. People in the industry used to work crazy hours, myself included. I once crashed my car after working unfeasibly long hours, and knew then that things had to change. The demands placed on people have had to change, which ties in with building a loyal team as I said earlier. If you look after your staff and treat them well, which includes giving them a work/life balance, they will produce better work and be more consistent.
RoM - And finally, where do you like to eat when you're not working and where have you been lately which really stood out for you?
AG - I like most places to be honest. I've been going to my same local curry house for 15 years as I absolutely love it. As for outstanding places; I visited Moor Hall over in Aughton the other week.
RoM - Thanks again for your time Andrew, and all the best for your pending launch from the whole Restaurants of Manchester team.
AG - You're very welcome!
Mamicium launches in Hotel Indigo® Manchester - Victoria Station in December.