Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Cassandra Cockerill, manager of Entropy restaurant, Leicester

06 April 2006
Cassandra Cockerill, manager of Entropy restaurant, Leicester

After completing a degree in physics at Manchester, establishing and managing an award-winning bar and restaurant doesn't seem like the most obvious career move.

But for Cassandra Cockerill and her husband, Tom, whom she met on the physics course, their joint venture has been a brave but successful choice.

Since first working behind a bar at Foxton Locks in Leicestershire at the age of 18, Cassandra had felt at home in the hospitality industry.

After graduating in 1997, she took a job in a local Leicester restaurant. But the job didn't satisfy her, so Cassandra joined Tom on the ski slopes in the French Alps, where he was working as a pot-washer in a restaurant and pub subsidiary of Mark Warner Holidays.

Working as a waitress in Le Rond Point in Méribel, famous for its après-ski, Cassandra learnt a lot about the industry, and had her first experience of fine dining.

But it was only when her job fell through a year later that she bit the bullet and decided to open her own bar back in the UK.

With little management experience and no business track record, Cassandra spent 18 months renovating a former butcher's shop and setting up Entropy Bar in Hinckley Road, Leicester, which opened in March 2000.

After Tom returned from his ski season he continued to train as a chef until the next-door property became available, which enabled the addition of a kitchen at the bar.

By February 2003 Entropy had won Best Pub/Bar Meal in Leicestershire at the Leicestershire Tourism Awards. Loyal to her home town, and with a successful project behind them, Cassandra decided to take advantage of the gap in the market for high-end restaurants in Leicestershire.

With her previous fine-dining experience and Tom's cookery skills combined, Entropy restaurant was launched in May 2004 on the renovated site of a former warehouse.

The pace rarely slows for the Cockerills as there are high standards to maintain after being awarded an AA rosette and Best Newcomer award in the Which? Good Food Guide, as well as being shortlisted in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2005.

It all adds up to a busy lifestyle, and with a second baby on the way that's unlikely to change, as it's not just the Cockerills' business that's expanding.

By Ximena Holliday

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