Pop-up restaurants are all the rage these days, writes Will Holland . During the past few years, they’ve become one of the most fashionable ways for people to eat.
I’ve always been interested in doing a pop-up restaurant, but I’ve wanted it to be something completely different to what I usually do day in, day out. There’s plenty of criteria that I’ve considered important.
First and foremost, the food I would serve in the pop-up would have to be the highest quality. Secondly, the location would have to be right: plenty of people come up with venues that are too obvious, so I would need to do something different. Thirdly, I’d want a pop-up to be fun and quirky. There’s no point doing something that’s been done before.
Pop-up restaurants present all sorts of operational challenges – it can be tricky to cook in an alien environment when you are not surrounded by your usual team and when you do not have the equipment you usually rely upon. I am going to be out of my comfort zone but they say a sign of good chef is adaptability!
The stars aligned for my first pop-up when I spoke to the owner of one of Ludlow’s best known independent food businesses – Lousie Hackney runs The Fish House and I’ve been good friends with her and Andy, her husband since The Fish House opened in 2010. We’ve oftened toyed with the idea of me hosting a fish masterclass or something similar but a couple of months ago, we decided that we’d go one better and collaborate on a pop-up. It will be an amazing experience – both for myself, Louise, Andy and most importantly our guests. It will take place on Friday, October 4, at Ludlow Rugby Club. We also came up with a pretty random location – Ludlow Rugby Club – which will make it great fun. It’s usually got quite a boisterous atmosphere, with plenty of beer and singing and the telly on the background. So turning it into an upmarket pop-up restaurant will be fun. Tickets are available from The Fish House. There’s going to be live jazz all evening, oysters on ice on arrival served with Prosecco, followed by a four course fish menu. We’ve selected some interesting wines to complement the dishes which will be available by the bottle. For more details have a look at www.thefishhouseludlow.co.uk
I liked the idea of doing a pop-up restaurant where fish is the focus. We live in a landlocked county and I’ve found people around here really appreciate being able to access high quality fish, which is what The Fish House supplies. I’m serving 80 people – and I can’t wait.
* Will Holland is one of the UK’s most successful young chefs. He earned a Michelin star before the age of 30, was named as one of the 10 most influential chefs for the present decade and is the chef-patron of La Becasse, in Ludlow.