We are the guys behind The Marram Grass, an award winning restaurant focused on Anglesey produce. You might recognise Ellis from Great British Menu 2017 and 2018. He has made it to the finals again this year and will be competing this week to get to the Banquet.
People enjoy our story - two brothers who have set out with more time and energy than money, between us we have managed to evolve a small cafe, off the beaten track on a campsite, into an award winning restaurant, The Marram Grass (take a look at the BarrieBros.com).
Our next big ambition is to set ourselves up with a cookery school so that we can share our passion and knowledge.
Ellis has always had a pipe dream to have a cookery school that runs along side the restaurant. When he was 12, his first experience of cooking outside the home was through a Saturday cooking school run at the local college. That was it. As simple as that. Ellis was one of those lucky ones who new exactly what he wanted to do when he was older, and he put his mind into becoming a chef.
When he was 15 he completed two weeks of work experience at the Radisson Fellini restaurant. In the couple of years he was there he started as a weekend chef before building up the hours. When the Head Chef there, Chris Marshall, opened the Panoramic Restaurant, he asked Ellis to join him as part of the team. When our parents bought an old 3 acre garden centre called White Lodge, he was travelling in Australia at the time but couldn’t resist the temptation of getting elbows deep in the old cafe on site so he jumped into the Anglesey move.
I’m sure it’s easy to see where Ellis’ excitement for a cookery school comes from. To be able to go full circle, from karate kid to Mr Miyagi for the next generation of chefs is an ambition that everyone must be able to relate to!
We’ve had some great support from the industry over the years. Both Ellis and I were recognised with Acorn Awards in 2016 & 2017 respectively. The awards are about recognising 30 under 30 year olds for their contribution to the hospitality industry. The acknowledgement meant so much to us, being out here off the beaten track, working hard and feeling out our own way. It highlighted to us that there is a gap for supporting people who are interested in the trade, whether as a career or for enjoyment of learning something new...which brings me neatly to the cookery school.
We’ve designed the cookery school along side local business, Peninsula Home Improvements, to be a bright warm and welcoming space. It’s going to be located next to the restaurant and will stand proudly as part of the new pedestrian route to the restaurant from the all new carpark on the small holding opposite.
It’s going to be brilliant! We want to the cookery school kitted out with commercial grade equipment so that dishes and techniques can migrate over and be shared from the restaurant. It will act as a hub, from where we can develop our own chefs, we can teach the basic skills to budding chefs and we can teach skills and offer experiences to you guys who want to learn more and get hands on with food and drink. Just having the space to allow us to develop the restaurant offerings further is going to be a massive advantage. We’ve never been so excited.
And if that isn't exciting enough.... Our plan is to rig out this bad boy with recording equipment so that we can shoot videos and share them with you. The aim is to build into our YouTube channel and offer online cooking tutorials. We want to spread the word about Welsh produce on a global scale through ‘tinterweb’. We’ve had a massive response to our videos in the past, largely through Facebook but now we want to hit the next level in quality and consistency, whether that’s tutorials and 'how to’s' or more adventure days out.
So this is where you come in. We need to hit £30,000 to make this multi functional cookery school a reality. With your help I’m sure we can do it, you guys have helped us get this far already. We need you to buy in to the project so we’ve put together a list of rewards to thank you for doing so. Take a look below for a quick overview but be sure to check out the rewards section for the full details.
Risks and challenges
Planning permission is already in place for this project and we've already invested in brand new 3-phase electrics on-site ready for installation.
A big challenge with the training of youngsters in the team is the time and resource required. However we can off-set this by utilising the space to develop the broader team and menu in the restaurant.
The kids cookery classes will be funded and offset by more premium classes and experiences. We have the ability to use the space as a Private Dining Room to create cash-flow when required and we can utilise the room effectively to create content for our online tutorials, especially over the quieter winter months.
For the last couple of years we have been pestered by youngsters, and their parents, for cooking jobs, classes, work experience etc. so we know the demand for cooking from the youngsters is there. We also have a lot of enquiries and demand for experiences and classes on a lifestyle and education basis.
Time is always in short supply but the experience from within our team is plentiful and matched by the passion and eagerness. As a team we have so much to share, we also have a close community of artisian producers who are eager to shout about their passion, from vegetable growing to foraging.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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