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The impact Chris and Jeff Galvin have had on the hospitality industry over the span of four decades has made them an indisputable part of the culinary elite of the UK.
With Michelin stars retained year on year at La Chapelle in Spitalfields and Galvin at Windows overlooking Park Lane, alongside the relentless quality the two have provided at Galvin at the Athenaeum hotel in Mayfair and the Galvin Hop Bistrot & Bar in Spitalfields, they have built an incredible empire in the capital. But as much as the two Essex-born chefs have inspired each other across their careers, they have also sought to inspire others. It is in this regard that Galvin Green Man provides a service that goes above and beyond.
At bottom, the Galvin Green Man – a restaurant and pub in Great Waltham, near Chelmsford – is about great hospitality. It has held a Bib Gourmand from Michelin and two AA rosettes for two years running and produces top-class dishes that celebrate local ingredients at reasonable prices. There is a touch of fine dining in the plating and technique, but with a menu that gives change from a £20 note, it is also infinitely accessible.
However, the real success of the site, and what caught the eye of the judges, was the sense of community the brothers have forged – among both staff and customers. The duo took on the Green Man after it had closed down, leaving locals without a pub where one had previously stood for 700 years. Now, through creating something that is as much a local amenity as it is a private business, they hope to ensure it stands for the next 700.
The pub’s book club brings top chefs and food writers to talk about their publications and experience, introducing the likes of Michel Roux Jr, Simon Rogan and Vivek Singh to locals. The site’s community room is a hub for the local area, hosting clubs and discussions as well as a community noticeboard.
Meanwhile, Chris and Jeff’s commitment to training has involved them heavily in the City & Guilds global certification for hospitality, which launched earlier this year. The hope is that the certification will revolutionise the industry, and the Galvins have paved the way by rolling it out among their own staff.
On top of all this, Green Man employees are deployed around the chefs’ empire to train in London’s top kitchens, given Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) training, and taken on educational trips to locations such as Portugal (where they learn about the production of the brothers’ own-brand port).
Chris and Jeff Galvin have built a fine pub in their home region, demonstrating financial success as well as seasonality and sustainability, Through their investment in everyone the pub touches – from customers to workers – they have made it truly exceptional.
What the judges said
“Chris and Jeff have produced an outstanding body of work over the past 40 years and have extended their repertoire into pubs with a very predictable high level of success.”
“The investment in people with the City & Guilds hospitality certificate is a standout achievement for an already sector-leading pair.”
Chris and Jeff Galvin, Galvin Green Man, Great Waltham, Essex
Adam Handling, Eve Bar, London
Steven Smith, Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire
Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive, Oakman Inns
Chris Hill, chief executive, New World Trading Company
Kate Mackenzie, proprietor, the Pipe and Glass Inn
Jillian MacLean, managing director, Drake & Morgan
Joycelyn Neve, managing director, Seafood Pub Company
Paul Salisbury, managing director, Lovely Pubs
Hamish Stoddart, co-founder, the Peach Pub Company
Rachel Weller, director of strategic initiatives, CGA