Lockdown 2 has seen restaurants having to close their doors again but here chef patron of Bury St Edmunds restaurant 1921 Zack Deakins applauds those adapting their business to offer takeaways
Here we go again, right? It certainly feels like déjà vu, perhaps even worse second time around. Having the life and energy sucked out of the restaurant again has left me feeling deflated. I am generally a pretty motivated guy, I enjoy work and like to keep busy, but I have to say this and the trials and tribulations of the last couple of months mean I could quite happily hibernate and wait for these weeks to blow over.
Our two little terrors are most certainly not going to let me do that, I have to say, often a 12-hour day with the kids is tougher than the hardest 18-hour day in the kitchen. No rest for the wicked, I guess – I can only assume I was very wicked in a previous life. . . However, there lies the positive, for me at least – more invaluable time with them, especially when we are hoping December will be super busy for 1921.
So, as you may have guessed, 1921 has gone into hibernation again. I am full of admiration for so many around the town and surrounding area who are adapting and have already adapted their business to still provide an offering through all of this. I have spent a lot of time trying to imagine how 1921 would transfer into a takeaway container. For now, I haven’t quite figured it out. Part of the problem is how do you ‘bottle’ the atmosphere and the feeling of a memorable evening out. Also, I am sure those that have dined with us will understand the style of our food would not seamlessly transfer into a plastic box. I will continue to think about it and who knows I may be left eating my words but for now at least we will wait this out and hope that if everyone does what is needed we will be able to re-open in December. I mean staying at home is hardly a great hardship. As Dad would say: “You can stand on your head for a month if you have to.”
There are plenty of fantastic businesses taking the plunge into the takeaway market and I sincerely hope they get support and have a busy and successful month. Many of you may have seen their offerings advertised already, but I thought I would mention a few that I am looking forward to trying.
Justin at Pea Porridge is offering a four course middle eastern eat at home feast based around goat meat. He is calling it ‘Get My Goat’ and it sounds phenomenal. It’s a great chance to try something different, which can be difficult when you are at home cooking for yourself every day, and knowing Justin’s food it will be absolutely packed full of flavour.
If you are looking for something a little more, in their words ‘a la française’, Pascal at Maison Bleue has started Léa. He is offering some truly classic dishes all served in some very smart glass jars. There are eight different dishes to choose from in a ‘pick and mix’ fashion. Cleverly, they are offering a rewards card so you get points when you return your jars for recycling. I have to say Beef Bourguignon is one of my all-time favourites and his looks amazing.
Looking ever so slightly further afield and the Kings Arms in Haughley sounds delicious. I mean any menu that starts with Truffle Mac and Cheese has got my attention.
Final mention for food has to go to my old sensei Chris at the Bildeston Crown. Everything Chris cooks is delicious but his lockdown roasts look truly epic.
Back in Bury, I know Charlie and Tanya at No.5 Angel Hill are opening for takeaway teas, coffees, sweet treats and I believe takeaway breakfasts. I will definitely be nipping up to them when I need five minutes away from the kids.
Finally, if it’s booze you need check out Vino Gusto at the One Bull. They are offering same day delivery in the Bury area of their fantastic wine selection and Brewshed beers. God knows we all need a little extra tipple in our lives right now.
I wish these guys and everyone else having to transform their business the very best success and hope that we are able to throw our doors open wide and welcome everyone in for some festive celebrations in December.
Zack Deakins is chef patron of 1921 Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.
Call 01284 704870