Johnnie Crowe, five year experience in the kitchens of several London restaurants, including Michelin starred The Harwood Arms and the acclaimed Anglo. Luke Wasserman, four years working as events project manager for The Guardian newspaper or the famous record label Rough Trade Records. Toby Neill, graduated with BA Honours in Business Management and accounts manager for companies like Amazon. These three young British are behind the gastronomic concept of NEST.
Just 27 years old, these three young British’ careers aimed high, really high. But in a strange twist of fate, these three friends (Luke and Toby, childhood friends, and Johnnie, with whom they share a house during their student years at Newscastle University), ended up leaving their jobs at pretty much the same time. “So what if we do something together as we’d always imagined?” they told themselves. And from their common passion for gastronomy and the restaurant business, NEST was born.
“We work with British produce that’s in season and local suppliers from the region where the event is held”.
What’s NEST? Their creators define it in one sentence: short-term restaurant events in special locations across London and the UK. For each one of their events, NEST chooses a unique location (a boat, a floating restaurant on a lake, an old farm…) and prepares an exclusive menu to celebrate the quality of the products from the area. “We work with British produce that’s in season and, whenever possible, with local suppliers from the region where the event is held,” their Marketing manager, Luke, explains.
They admit logistics implied by transportation of the whole kitchen and team, plus adapting to the limitations of each venue, are one of the biggest challenges of their work. But the focus is always on food. Accessible and original food, with which they clearly show their objective: bigger profit margins for producers, cutting down “ridiculous” travel miles, limiting the “crazy increasing amount” of meat consumed, and quality products above all.
As they say, with the little boom in pop-up events and restaurants (specially in London), it’s becoming more and more complicated to surprise the public. “That’s why you need to find new ways to stand up, and we do it by creating an open, relaxed and shared experience,” they assure. And after just six months of work, when they have already had returning customers and landlords asking them to organise other events in their spaces, it seems they have started better than just well.
“A big factor behind starting NEST was a lifestyle choice, to have autonomy and flexibility in our working lives”.
“A big factor behind starting NEST was a lifestyle choice. Of course we want to create a successful business in the restaurant industry, but it has been a lot about working with friends and having the autonomy and flexibility in our working lives,” Luke clarifies.
So, for the future? They assure they would like to open a permanent restaurant in the next years, but they haven’t decided on the location yet. “In the meanwhile, with the mushroom and game season arriving in force and cold weather frost helping the likes of pumpkin, celeriac and root veg sweeten up, this is probably the most exciting time to eat out in Britain.” Luke says in excitement. So yes, they are already preparing their next events for the Autumn and Winter seasons.