The Operator of the Year for Menu Development is The Alchemist.
This category, sponsored by Unox, recognises that kitchens aren’t just places for operators to prepare food for customers or guests — they are also a test-bed for devising new menus, product creations and dishes.
It therefore honours operators that have enhanced, improved or grown their menus over the past year, acknowledging the investment that goes into making this happen.
Bar group The Alchemist is becoming as renowned for its food offer as it is for the spectacular cocktails that have traditionally had customers flocking to its sites.
Over the past year, vegan dishes have been added to its restaurants for the first time, with delicacies such as Keralan curry with chickpeas and cauliflower rice and shawarma cauliflower steak demonstrating the ability of its food development team to conceive original but on-trend dishes.
Additionally, items such as its Ajinomoto Japanese range of gyozas and vegetable in spinach pastry have proved to be inspired creations, even more so since each sale sees the chain donate the cost of a hot meal for somebody in need through a tie-up with charity Foodinate.
Seamus O’Donnell, executive chef at The Alchemist (pictured receiving the award from Unox managing director Gary Nunn), said: “We have really focused on the plant-based side of our business and made sure we cater for vegans and gluten-free. We create an eclectic mix of dishes – we give everything an ‘Alchemist’ spin to ensure all our customers have a good time.”
- The Alchemist
- Punch Taverns
- Star Pubs & Bars