Cateys 2022: Pub and Bar Award: André Ferreira, the Wigmore

05 July 2022 by
Cateys 2022: Pub and Bar Award: André Ferreira, the Wigmore

André Ferreira, bar manager of the Wigmore wins the Pub and Bar Award, sponsored by Britvic

The Wigmore opened its doors in 2017 and has attracted legions of fans with an enticing food offer and classic British pub vibes. The venue, sitting alongside the Langham hotel in London's West End, is led by bar manager Andre Ferreira with Michel Roux Jr overseeing a menu of luxurious pub classics, such as a braised lamb pie with mash and mint sauce, and a cheeseburger with grilled ox tongue and crispy shallots.

The Wigmore offers a selection of beers, wines and cocktails, including a house saison brewed in partnership with Yonder Brewing, and has a strong reputation as a social hub for local businesses and residents, as well as guests staying at the Langham, London.

Ferreira has built up the pub's fan base, including with four-legged friends, through a local resident and business programme that sees the delivery of a Wigmore welcome pack including exclusive offers.

When the pub reopened following Covid lockdowns it created a 75-cover summer terrace and garden to maximise revenue. The space increased turnover by 10% and allowed 20 more staff to return to their jobs.

The pub also played on the success of its signature XXL Stovetop three cheese and mustard toastie, described by food critic Marina O'Loughlin as "a behemoth of a thing anchored by a heavy, cast-iron bacon press and oozing excellent aged Cheddar, red onion, mustard and cornichons in the most lascivious way". It invited chefs Andrew Wong, Annah Haugh and Cyrus Todiwala to create guest toasties, which were each sold for a month with £1 from every sale donated to mental health charity Calm.

The Wigmore is also playing its part in the Langham's drive to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. In 2019 the pub introduced a programme to reduce its use of paper through establishing an iPad reservation system. It has also abolished single-use plastic and reduced waste through initiatives including redirecting food to cocktail making.

Ferreira was named the Langham London's Manager of the Year in 2019 in recognition of his work with his team. He has progressed five waiters and bartenders to supervisors and offered reduced hours to ensure employees have a good work-life balance. On return from lockdown, several team members had begun areas of study outside of hospitality and Ferreira adjusted rotas to fit around them as well as working with the Langham's learning and development manager to place other team members on courses to benefit their personal development. The pub also supports charitable organisations through pub quiz nights as well as an annual staff fun run.

What the judges said

"A standout venue that continues to innovate and evolve its menu while consistently delivering on quality. Customer service is excellent and I always recommend it to others." – Karl Chessell

"Great example of a local pub, friendly staff, excellent food and an array of interesting and evolving drinks. Consistently delivers, whether for a drink or hearty and delicious food." – Chris Galvin

The shortlist

  • André Ferreira, the Wigmore, the Langham, London
  • Steven Kerr and Jonathan McNeil, the Loch & the Tyne, Old Windsor
  • Nina Matsunaga, Black Bull, Sedbergh

The judges

  • Peter Borg-Neal, founder and chief executive, Oakman Inns
  • Karl Chessel, director of consumer research and marketing, CGA Peach
  • Chris Galvin, chef-patron, Galvin Green Man
  • Jillian MacLean, managing director, Drake & Morgan
  • Andrew Pern, chef-owner, the Star Inn at Harome
  • Hamish Stoddart, managing director, the Peach Pub Company
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