Sourcing the perfect ingredients and recipes: RAREBIT

The RAREBIT team: Sourcing the perfect ingredients

Deciding on the right menu is never easy and sourcing the best ingredients can be challenging. RAREBIT is an example of a restaurant that has found its USP, created a stand-out menu and built relationships with the best suppliers of ingredients.

Modern Hospitality had the pleasure of speaking with Mark Angell, owner of RAREBIT about their approach to wowing customers and sourcing the perfect ingredients.

How did RAREBIT begin?

“The idea for RAREBIT began shortly after I moved to Elephant & Castle 2 years ago and saw the incredible changes occurring in an area I’d known for many years.  With huge investment and thousands of new homes, the area is being transformed. It felt like there was a great opportunity for a friendly neighbourhood bar, restaurant and grocery shop. I approached Will Nias who I’d worked with previously and I knew to have a similar mindset to me, in his commitment to quality and a high level of customer service, and we agreed to partner on the project.

“The name draws upon my Welsh heritage and our signature dish, Rarebit, symbolises much of what we are about: taking something as everyday as cheese on toast but using great quality ingredients, lovingly preparing and serving them, and elevating the result into something truly special. And very tasty!”

How do you choose your recipes?

“I’m a great believer in us as owners setting out a direction, then allowing chefs to do their thing (with feedback and guidance). In this case, we found a talented female chef, Liv Lionel.  As a young British woman of Caribbean heritage, at RAREBIT, Liv explores what Modern British cooking means to her.”

The process of sourcing the perfect ingredients

“We sought out the very best suppliers of their kind. Neal’s Yard Dairy for cheese, London Smoke & Cure for cured meats, O’Shea Butchers for rare breed meats, Natoora for fresh produce, Climpson & Sons Coffee.  The list goes on.  We instinctively knew that we wanted to work with many of these renowned suppliers, but finding smaller ones can be an arduous process. There are however many passionate small producers out there and finding them and then building relationships with them is a rewarding experience.”

The best ways to stand out from competitors and finding your USP

“There was an already a diverse collection of new hospitality businesses here, but nothing specifically British being offered, so we decided to focus on local producers and showcase the best of modern British food both on our menus and in the grocery.  That seems to be going down very well and we’re building a loyal following already.

“We also focus strongly on being a very friendly, welcoming, neighbourhood business and we make a real effort to get to know our guests, their friends, their children and their dogs!”

What’s next for RAREBIT?

“We’re still very new, only two months old, so we’re focussed on getting this current one exactly right, all the time listening to our guests as to what they want. We would however very much like to take RAREBIT to other neighbourhoods.  We’ve been flattered that we’ve already had a number of approaches to do just that and we’re working on expansion in the background.”

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