Get Inspired: The Great British Roast Competition | Unilever Food Solutions UK

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After much deliberation from our expert judges, we crowned our winners ‘The Cleveland Arms’ in Brighton for the best in the meat category and ‘Clean Bean’ in Seaham for their best in vegetarian or vegan category in the 2019 Knorr Professional Great British Roast Competition.

Since then, these two establishments have flourished and also adapted during recent events. As part of our Great Roast Revival series, celebrating all things roasts in 2020, we check back in with our winners to find out more about how they deliver an award-winning roast.

 

The Cleveland Arms, Brighton - winner of the Best Meat Roast Dinner in Knorr® Professional’s Great British Roast Dinner Competition 2019

1. Tell us about your restaurant. What’s your story and what makes it different?

Jamie’s parents had around eight pubs located across Sussex, including The Preston Park Tavern which is across the road from us - and so, he was very much born into the pub industry.

When we realised there was an opportunity to buy what was then a purely wet-led pub and breathe a new lease of life into the building, we decided to take ownership of The Cleveland Arms. For the past two years, we have renovated, rejuvenated and established it as a community-driven pub, supporting local schools, clubs and businesses and using locally-sourced produce wherever possible. 

 

2. What do people love about your menu? How often is your menu updated? Is there a time of the year when your dishes are most popular?

Our kitchen is small but we are really proud of what we produce in there. We take pride in the fact that everything is homemade, and everything is as local as it can be, even the drinks – the bitters are Sussex bitters, Harvey’s, Dark Star, etc.

We update the menu 3 to 4 times a year. This is to tailor our dishes to the best produce available for the time of year. This also keeps our customers interested.

Our roasts are a winner in the winter, our stews and homemade pies are a favourite in autumn. The classic pub Fish & Chips is top of the list all year round. We always have lots of fresh fish caught locally on the menu.

The traditional roast dinner is always a popular choice, however over the past 3-6 months The Cleveland Arms has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for vegan and vegetarian choices. So now we offer a varied selection of vegan food in order to cater to as many tastes as possible, and this has been received fantastically well. 

3. In your view, what makes your roast a winner? What’s your favourite ingredient?

We love the carrots! They are cooked whole and flavoured with honey and fennel.

All our customers talk about everything on our roasts. Time is the key ingredient. We make sure we spend time prepping our ingredients, the gravy is simmering all week, we use the best locally-sourced meat and vegetables. We make sure the roast has colours and you can do this with vegetables. Our red cabbage is a staple and we don’t go overboard with the sweetness. All roasts are served with a thick luscious gravy, light – yet enormous – Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes.

We pride ourselves on our food by Head Chef Danny Frape and his team, but also on our exceptional service. We have a real partnership between Front of House and Back of House now and it is just working. The team isn’t settling for just doing, they are looking to listen to feedback and improve.

 

4. How do you get customers through the door?

Recommendations definitely drive customers in, which is why the service has to be top as well as the food. We advertise in local press and on social media. We also work with local groups and this has helped other businesses too. We do a lot for the community, supporting charities or local businesses. Yoga, Pilates, local artists - we’re all family. 

 

Check out The Cleveland Arms' Facebook page here.

 

 

Clean Bean, Seaham - winner of the Best Vegan / Vegetarian Roast Dinner in Knorr® Professional’s Great British Roast Dinner Competition 2019

This small but perfectly formed Seaham restaurant saw off stiff competition from all over the UK to be named the winner of the Best Vegetarian or Vegan Roast Dinner in Knorr® Professional’s Great British Roast Dinner Competition 2019.

So who are Linda and Paul Barron, and why did they decide to launch this pioneer of clean eating in England’s North East?

1. Tell us about your restaurant. What’s your story and what makes it different?

Clean Bean is a 100% gluten-free restaurant, whose concept was born out of personal experience.

When Paul had to make a drastic lifestyle change as a result of his personal health, we soon realised that there were few eat-out establishments that could cater to his needs. So we took the plunge and decided to fill this gap, even though we had zero experience in the hospitality sector!

But we had travelled a lot and learned about food from other cultures - which is what inspired our concept and our diverse menu.  We recognised the challenge consumers might face in finding natural, versatile and balanced dishes, and we opted for a more simple and natural approach with Clean Bean, promoting food that aides wellbeing and strengthens the body from the inside out. 

 

2. What do people love about your menu? How often is your menu updated? Is there a time of the year when your dishes are most popular?

Our menu is entirely centred around fresh, high-quality ingredients the way nature intended. Nothing is brought in and nothing is processed: it’s all prepared in-house and contains everything the body needs to function optimally such as vitamins, antioxidants, good fats, fibre, protein and complex carbohydrates.

We also decided to be 100% gluten-free. Some people who suffer from Coeliac disease read the menu and realise they can eat everything on it, and they are genuinely shocked.

We used our experiences as travellers to inspire the “Clean Bean Around the World” concept, where we update the menu every two weeks with dishes inspired by Lebanon, Sweden, Jamaica, Thailand etc.

Our Wellness Bowls are also extremely popular in the summer, and our healthy soups and pimped up Northumbrian Pan Haggerty seems to sell as the weather gets colder.

3. In your view, what makes your roast a winner? What’s your favourite ingredient?

Our nut roast is made with mushrooms and chickpeas, and our stuffing is primarily made with quinoa, giving a crunchy texture on top of the softer mash. We serve these with roasted/charred vegetables, again giving texture but also retaining the flavours that would be lost when boiled.

Our favourite ingredient has to be our homemade Nut Roast, it’s so tasty and healthy and our customers love it.

 

4. How do you get customers through the door?

Our restaurant has become part of our community. We tried to incorporate as much as we could from local industries – like for instance the bricks we have gathered from the old mines. It’s all reclaimed, handmade and designed by us. And we host art by a local art group.

We have tried different means of advertising, but what brings our customers back time after time is that we genuinely care about their whole experience and that brings in their families, friends, colleagues etc. To us reputation is everything.

If you want the success these previous winners have had, look out for our 2021 competition details coming soon!