Crockers 2.0 – A few speed bumps along the way

“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it”

I came across this quote a little over a year ago. I was trying to find a way to finance Crockers Chef’s Table in Potten End and coming up dry at every turn. It was incredibly hard and to be honest I was about to give up. I then found this quote which somehow gave me another little push. The rest as they say is history.

It seems the same now applies as we try and make the dream for Crockers 2.0 a reality. Scott and I originally viewed our new location in June this year. I naively thought we would be up and running by the end of November. You’d think after a year in business in Potten End the naive optimism may have worn off.

I have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes mostly trying to get solicitors to talk to each nicely. Sorry if you’re in the legal game but oh my god how do they ever achieve anything. It’s like to animals fluffing their feathers all day long. Anyway, just as we finally come the end of the legal bits we hit another speed bump in the road. The joys of planning! What should have been a simple application could now go to a planning committee possibly adding another month on to the schedule.

Now I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason so I guess there’s a good reason for this.

The latest speed bump appeared just this weekend. It turns out we need to triple the power supply which means a new connection. Unfortunately due to our new location (all will be revealed soon…….I hope) this means a 14 week wait for the connection.

You know it’s not so much the frustration of delaying the opening that bothers me but the fact that we have so many amazing guests and fans that want to come. Scott and I are so grateful for the fact everyone is just as excited as us. We’re both desperate to let everyone know where we’re moving to and when. Hopefully it won’t be long now.

Scott and I are looking forward to a busy few weeks leading to our short break our Christmas. We’ll be back in Potten End in the new year before opening our new location in the Spring.

Fingers crossed for no more speed bumps in the road.

Luke.

Book your seats for January & February now!

Grab the last chance to join us in Potten End.

Our new venue has hit a few speed bumps so we have decided to re-open in Potten End for January & February. We were hoping to be welcoming you all to our new venue in late January. Unfortunately we need a little more time to make it perfect for all of our guests. We already have a few lucky people booked in so don’t miss your chance to say goodbye to our little place in Potten End.

We will be open after our Christmas break on January 12th all the way through to March 1st.

Seats are now available to book online via our booking page.

Want to know more about Crockers 2.0? All the details will be revealed very soon but in the meantime take a look at this post for a sneak peak.

Number 1 on TripAdvisor

Thank you to everyone that has left a review and shown your support!

At the end of last week we had some great news. With the help of all of our wonderful guests that have left us reviews and feedback, we have made it to number 1 on TripAdvisor in Berkhamsted.

Scott and I have been working incredibly hard to create a special dining experience that our guests will love. There have been many long days but all the hard work is well worth it when we receive something like this. Fingers crossed this is just the beginning and we’re both very exciting about what the future will bring for us and our guests at our new venue.

If you have been and experienced Scott’s fantastic food we would love to hear from you. You can leave us a review on TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google.

Sorry for the short post this week, we’re busy with meetings getting everything in place to start work on our new venue and announce where we’re off to later this month.

Have a great week everyone!

Luke

What’s happening with Crockers 2.0

So you may have heard that we’re moving to a bigger venue in 2018. Obviously all of our guests want to know all about it. Where are we moving to? What’s it going to be like? Unfortunately there’s only so much I can say at the moment but I thought I would give everyone a little update.

 

Where is Crockers 2.0 going to be?

We are currently finalising the lease on our new home so can’t quite confirm it’s location just yet. Trust me there’s nothing I want more than to let everyone know where we’re headed. It won’t be far from our current location so you don’t have to worry about getting to us. There’s better transport connections and even loads of parking.

When are we opening?

This all depends on when we sign the lease and can get our contractors in. The venue we have needs a lot of work but we’re aiming for an opening in late January or Early February. We were hoping for mid January but that may now be unrealistic.

 

Will it be the same concept? 

Scott and I have worked hard to create a truly unique dining experience. The interactive, immersive experience you get with us while enjoying amazing food is what we’re all about. Crockers 2.0 will certainly be the same just a bit bigger. We will have enough space to seat 15 guests, still around a “U” shaped table so everyone will have a great view.

So what’s new? 

One of the first things we learnt from opening Crockers was that we needed a bar. A place where guests could come and meet the rest of their group and enjoy a drink together before dinner. Well that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Our new venue will have a cocktail/wine bar to serve around 20 guests. It will serve a place to meet before dinner or simply to enjoy a drink. We will also be offering a range of small snacks, our famous Tring Brewery Beer Bread and English Cheese platters.

If you want to know more about our new venue or would like to enquire about provisional bookings please drop me an email to hello@crockerschefstable.co.uk

Have a great week!

Luke

November’s Menu

Take a look at what Scott has planned for our lucky guests in November.

 

Seven Course Tasting Menu

November

Snacks – To Be Eaten With Your Fingers

Bread – Tring Brewery Beer Bread with Whipped Marmite Butter

*Beef – Crispy Beef Short Rib, Shiitake Mushroom, Soy, Black Garlic & Radish

Octopus – Octopus, Chorizo, Black Olive & Basil

*Pheasant – Pheasant, Bacon, Parsley Root & Sprouts

Premier Cheese – Cheese From Eric Charriaux’s Van

Pre Dessert

*Carrot – Carrot Cake, Frozen Cream Cheese, Cardamom & Orange

*Dishes on Three Course Menu

Hospitality’s Dirty Little Secret

Hello and thanks for stopping by our new blog. I thought I would start updating the blog weekly with various topics including industry insights, behind the scenes at Crockers and all our exciting news.

Our first post is about the hospitality industries dirty little secret.

So who watched Gordon Ramsey on Drugs last week? No it’s not a show with Gordon testing out the latest illegal highs but a fascinating look at the issue of Cocaine in restaurants.

The program got me thinking about my experiences with drugs in various kitchens I’ve worked in. Now I can honestly say that I’ve never touched anything other than alcohol. I just never saw the point of it. Smoking, snorting or injecting yourself with a load of junk containing god knows what.

Have I experienced drugs in the kitchen? Not openly. We never had guys in the staff areas doing lines or dropping pills but you kind of had your suspicions. There was always talk of guys going out after work to a local club doing pills and what ever else. This one time we had a chef go AWOL the next day as he had hit it so hard. The next day he ended up on the other side of London dropping the rest of the team in hot water.

I thought it was interesting that ITV used Gordon Ramsey as the face of this show. Gordon like myself says he’s never touched a single drug and I believe him. However it’s the pressure that chef’s are put under by bosses like Gordon that pushes them to this extreme. The hours chef’s are expected to work take our bodies to the absolute limit. Then on top of the hours add in the pressure of working in a 1, 2 or 3 star restaurant to such high levels of expectations.

My first job in London was working for one of Gordon’s ex head chefs. I was living in Berkhamsted at the time which meant getting the 5:35am train each day. This would get me into Euston in just enough time to run down the road to work ready for 6:45am. You then work all day, often without a break or food. Then it’s back on the last train at Euston, which in those days was 12:30am. I’d be picked up from Berkhamsted station at 1:15am, grab a quick shower, some food and back up at 5:15am to do it all again. I don’t know how I didn’t turn to drugs.

Do I agree with chefs using drugs? No! But I do understand why they might feel the need to. I was really impressed with the way Gordon handled himself and took some responsibility. I am a huge believer that there is and needs to be a change coming in the industry. Bosses need to start respecting their staff more and the staff need to stop expecting to be run into the ground.

I am passionate about creating an environment in our restaurant where our staff are happy and well looked after. This can only do good things to the experience you our guests can expect.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Luke.

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