Two young chefs who hope to create an innovative new restaurant that merges front and back of house are halfway to raising the funds they need to get the project off the ground.
Paul Wendholt, 30 and Jordan Sidwell, 26 (pictured) hope to start a new venture called Grain together in Colchester, having met four years ago while working at Wivenhoe House hotel in Essex.
Inspired by the new wave of restaurants opening across London like the Dairy, Clove Club and Lyle's, the pair aim to create a relaxed, informal environment with top quality small plates of food.
Staff working at the restaurant will be multi-skilled in the hope that there will be no division between front and back of house.
"The customers will get the chance to interact with everybody that's involved in the dining experience," said Wendholt. "The chefs will be involved in front-of-house service and waiters will be skilled enough (or trained) to contribute in the kitchen."
The food on offer will be modern British, served on small plates.
The pair raised £30,000 between them to get the project moving, with another £25,000 in bank lending. To help them buy stock, as well as kitchenware, crockery and glasses and so on, they are now attempting to raise a further £10,000 through crowdfunding website Kickstarter, and with 12 days left to go until their funding round closes, they have raised £5,280.
As with many crowdfunding schemes, they are offering a range of incentives for those who contribute to their cause, including a "high five/handshake/manly hug" for those who pledge £10 or more, to exclusive hire of the restaurant for a Christmas party for up to 30 people for a pledge of £1,750 or more.
Wendholt and Sidwell worked together at Wivenhoe House hotel for two years. Following that, Sidwell worked in Switzerland at the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich while Wendholt went on to work at a new kitchen and bar concept as head chef in Chelmsford that was in the process of a £1 million refurbishment.
Wendholt spent the early part of his career in Essex in hotels and restaurants whereas Sidwell his in London doing stints at Le Gavroche and Rhodes 24.
Grain is set to open by the end of this summer.
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