CHEERFUL SOUL IN THE HARE & HOUNDS
& COOKING ARTICLE
of BBC2's The Restaurant to open in Marlow
English and Russell Clement, winners of BBC2's programme,
The Restaurant, announce the opening of their new restaurant,
The Cheerful Soul in the Hare & Hounds, in Marlow,
Buckinghamshire, in mid-June 2009.
The Cheerful Soul in the Hare & Hounds, which is
backed by restaurateur and legendary chef, Raymond Blanc,
is more than a restaurant, it is the first step to fulfilling
a dream for Michele and Russell. The journey began for
Michele and Russell when they entered and won a coveted
place as one of nine couples competing in the second
series of BBC2's The Restaurant.
After trials, tribulations and a very tense train journey
catering for passengers on the Orient-Express, they
triumphed, winning the opportunity of a lifetime, to
open their very own restaurant in partnership with legendary
chef, Raymond Blanc.
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"I chose Michele and Russell as my
winners because they worked together as the most outstanding
team, they had the best and most consistent skills as
a chef and front of house partnership and their restaurant
regularly made a profit, " says Raymond. "Their
enthusiasm is fantastic; their dreams marvellous, and
their passion exciting - and that is a real complement
from a Frenchman!"
"Our task over the last few months
has been to combine their raw talent with the training,
knowledge and good business practices needed to succeed
in running a restaurant."
Since winning in November 2008, Michele
and Russell have been training with the talented teams
behind the Brasserie Blanc restaurants, learning the
foundations of successful business, from food costing
and accounting to staff recruitment and legal duties.
The Hare & Hounds is a traditional
Seventeenth century country pub and restaurant on the
Henley Road, within walking distance of Marlow town
centre, which is an idyllic and historic town on the
River Thames. The Cheerful Soul in the Hare & Hounds
will be a 60 - 70 cover restaurant, initially open for
lunch and dinner five and a half days a week.
"The Hare & Hounds has a warm
and welcoming atmosphere and feels like the perfect
home for The Cheerful Soul," says Michele. "We
have five weeks before opening to craft the restaurant
and inject our personality into every detail."
"Marlow, in the heart of the country,
is perfectly located to allow us access to some of the
best quality local producers Britain has to offer,"
commented Russell. "Our British brasserie style
menu will change bi-monthly to follow the seasons. I'm
really looking forward to exploring the possibilities
of the local produce. On the menu we will be rediscovering
some forgotten recipes alongside firm favourites. Dishes
on the opening menu include Pressed Ham Terrine with
Cauliflower Piccalilli and Devonshire Scone Panperdy
with Strawberries and Clotted Cream"
Russell will be joined by a team of four
in the kitchen, whilst Michele will run the front of
house with another five locally recruited staff.
"Russell and Michele have worked
very hard over the past few months to transform their
dream of running their own restaurant into a reality
and for that I have a tremendous amount of respect for
them," commented Raymond as keys to the premises
were exchanged today. "I would say to anyone: follow
your heart with passion and a lot of hard work, and
you never know what might happen."
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