Ahead of the launch of our second restaurant in Western Road, Hove, we spoke to our head chef Jamie Halsall. Jamie started working with us as freelance chef on Cin Cin Supper Clubs held throughout London and South East. He joined full-time as head chef when we opened our first Vine Street restaurant in November 2016 and has been responsible for the delightful dishes served ever since. Now he’s focusing on getting the menu ready for Western Road ahead of the grand opening.
Before we talk about the new Cin Cin in Western Road, Hove, give us a brief overview, Jamie, of your life as a chef so far.
I began cooking at 17, did my apprenticeship in Taunton, and then moved to London to work in some of the best restaurants I could, learning from the best. I did a few years of private chef and corporate work before meeting David Toscano and hatching a plan for Cin Cin. And here we are 4 years later with our second restaurant!
Tell us more about your experience with Cin Cin.
David and I met through our wives who used to work together. He was trying to make the jump from a street food van and event caterer to his first restaurant so we started working on supper clubs here in Brighton. I had always loved Italian cooking in the restaurants I had worked in early on in my career, but this opportunity to focus exclusively on it, to really delve into it, was really liberating and I’ve not looked back.
Now onto the exciting news! Cin Cin Numero 2 is opening on Jan 18th, how do you feel about it?
Excited & nervous! It is a big step up for us – larger restaurant, expanded menu, new staff and team – but we are confident in what we are doing and we hope customers respond to that in the same we they did at Vine St.
We’ve heard from our founder, David Toscano, about the plans for the business, can you tell us more about your plans for the kitchen and menus?
It’s an evolution not revolution. We have a prep kitchen downstairs with a specially made pasta table so we can expand the range of shapes and fillings, and it also means we can use the prep kitchen to improve the dishes at Vine St too. At Western Road, the service kitchen is a similar set up (though bigger) with one key difference – we have a robata grill which means we can cook on direct heat to keep all the flavour in the meat, fish and veg main courses we can now serve. The approach to the menu will remain the same – reimagining Italian classics and building new dishes around the great British ingredients we have in season each month.
What other experiences do you want to bring to Western Road?
We have a private dining room for parties up to 12 people at WR so we have plans for great feasting menus, communal dining off long boards, and getting in whole meats that we can pick the best cuts from for the grill.
We also hear you want to reach out into the community and help the next generation of chefs succeed?
That was massively important to me coming up through the ranks, to have that support from more senior chefs, so time to give something back. I currently give some work experience to a local college student who approached us directly and going forward we’d love to nurture the future of Brighton’s food scene!
Any last thoughts on this exciting chapter in Cin Cin’s life?
We are just itching to get going! It’s been a tough couple of months to design and build the new site plus run Vine Street and build out the team etc., so we just want to get back to what we do best – giving Brighton the Italian food it deserves.
To experience the delectable delights of Jamie’s cooking book your place at our Western Road restaurant by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.