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An interview with the Founders and Chef of the new Gastro-Centric Restaurant and Cocktail Bar Boiler & Co opening January 2022

Firstly, congratulations on your new restaurant and cocktail bar, what was the inspiration behind this?

We both reached a point in our hospitality careers where we wanted to give back in a way that had genuine meaning and purpose. Having both worked up the ladder within the industry and spent the last decade of our careers consulting for other people’s businesses, we felt it was the right time to take the next step to bring our experience and passion to the forefront in the form of a business. And, that’s where the concept for Boiler & Co. was born.

We set out to open a place that was inviting, safe, and memorable! The concept started out as a modern-day pub, if you like, though this brand direction has slightly changed over the two years that we’ve spent planning and refining. You will, of course, still get that sense of nostalgia, warmth and personality that you would find in a more traditional establishment, but we’ve decided to take it up a notch.

Sustainability and the arts are very important to us both, and so we’ve incorporated them into the brand ethos. You will find this in the language we use, the processes we follow, the people we work with, right through to the design of the space.

Has the pandemic impacted this?

In a positive way, yes, as it gave us more time to refine the concept. It also offered the opportunity to adjust our needs to current times, selecting surfaces, spacing tables and designing the guest flow around the venue. Of course, the pandemic hasn’t been without its challenges, testing our grit and personal commitment to the project over a long period, but we’re glad to be where we are now.

Talk us through the cuisine focus?

The menu will feature passionately composed dishes inspired by British cuisine with a focus on high-quality, fresh ingredients, the use of local produce, contemporary cooking methods and careful presentation.

The menu will be all about championing locally sourced and organic produce, with a culinary vision to set quintessentially authentic flavours into a contemporary, modern context.

What is your favourite part of the new Restaurant?

This is a hard one as there are many different pockets of guest seating and areas within the design that make me excited. From the main bar to the main dining area, the coffee and pastry bar, as well as the 80-seater outdoor terrace neighbouring the Tate Modern. Although, I’d have to say the upstairs cocktail bar (The Coral Bar) is a very intimate space with a unique design that will showcase cocktails to the highest degree. The bar will seat 24 guests where they can enjoy a creative 10 drinks menu designed to be interactive and whimsical.

What cocktails can we expect to see at the Bar?

As our name suggests, our cocktails focus on ingredients made in boilers, such as whisky, to showcase the versatility and complexity of the spirit. Think Espresso Martinis, Pina Coladas, Pornstar Martinis and cosmopolitans, all using the wonderful water of life that is whisky. The cocktail menu will also feature an ode to the classics we all know and love, like the Old Fashioned, various Whisky Sours, Manhattans, Mint Juleps and many more.

Give us an insight into why caramel- coloured beverages became an interest and how they will be showcased.

Caramel-coloured beverages, especially whisky, have been a herald of all things patriarchy and a slightly intimidating product segment for generations. Gladly this is changing! We saw an opportunity to create an inclusive, accessible environment for people to get to know these stronger flavours in their distinct forms and see their Gin-like features in the cocktail world. We see it as an opportunity to add our grain of sand to support a change in the whisky drinker stereotypes with a safe, chic and inclusive environment.

In a few words, why should people book a visit to Boiler & Co…and what can we expect?

When visiting Boiler & Co., people can expect an innovative cocktail and culinary experience with a playful take of fine dining in an unpretentious environment. You can expect a fun atmosphere and products showcased in ways you’ve never seen before.

Questions for Chef Kerth Grumbs

Talk us through the menu

Each dish will pay homage to local ingredients whilst drawing on the flavours that I’ve gathered from growing up in Anguilla in the Caribbean as well as the global flavours that make London the culinary capital of the world. My set tasting menu experience will be available for people to enjoy at a 5pm or 8.30pm seating which will each accommodate 30-40 guests.

I wanted to cook and serve food in a place that better reflects my personality, so expect eye-catching small plates with vibrant flavours that will pair perfectly with our creative cocktails. When we open, we will have a straight seating interactive tasting menu experience featuring some of the dishes I created on The Great British Menu like my ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ and ‘The Far Away Tree’ for those who didn’t get a chance to experience them due to the pandemic whilst at my last place.

What is your favourite dish and why?

That is a good question, and I’m not sure I have a straight answer! I’m constantly creating and exploring new ideas, and the past year has given me the chance to think up some unique dishes. But, if I must answer, then it will have to be the seared scallops, carrot with coconut lobster butter sauce.

What is your signature cooking style, what ingredients and flavours do you most like creating with?

As I said, I’m constantly thinking up new ideas to try out in the kitchen, but my style can be described as bold, playful, vibrant and abstract. I like to push the boundaries to give people a real unique experience. At Boiler & Co., it’s all about expressing creativity rather than riding along with the mainstream.

I love creating fish dishes, scallops in particular. They have to be my favourite ingredient to cook as they are so versatile, they pair well with many flavours and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Will local ingredients be used in the different dishes?

Yes, indeed. The entire menu, across both floors, will focus on using as many local ingredients as possible. Fostering an environment where we can put accessibility, flavour, locality and sustainability at the forefront is really important to us. For the tasting menu experience, you’ll have local ingredients whilst applying some international techniques, and the A La Carte menu will be a mix of small plates utilising British produce.

What is an underrated ingredient that you like to experiment with?

Sweet potato. Trust me, there’s more to it than just fries!

Is it important to adapt and change different dishes to bring something new and unique to people?

Yes and no. I think classic dishes are classic for a reason, the flavours just work, and people love them since they know what to expect. But having said that, it’s important to keep pushing the boundaries and deliver the unexpected. That’s where the excitement comes from, creating interpretations on dishes and representing or serving them in a different, fun and new way. I want to present people with food that they can get excited about.

Is it crucial, in your opinion, to create an experience with food?

For me, absolutely. We are all passionate about what we want to bring to London with Boiler & Co., we want it to be a whole experience from the moment our guests step through the door. People can expect bold flavours, creative cocktails, music and plenty of entertainment.

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