About nine, maybe ten, years ago we set up a joint savings account. The money, we joked, was to buy a stove when we had our own restaurant…
There’s a phrase that states, “start small.” And one that shouts, “dream big.” And another that urges, “Throw caution to the wind,” which is kind of like a polite way of saying, just get on and do it even if you haven’t really got a clue what you’re doing.
BOX-E is a culmination of all that, built around a hot stove – a snazzy solid top we’ve named Sandra – on which we spent our life savings.
There are easier ways to make a living than being a chef, but there’s no point telling that to a chef. If you can come out smiling after 13 or so hours in front of a stove, day in, day out, then you obviously love your craft.
Elliott’s one of them. He’s spent the majority of his life in a kitchen, which is an odd thought as most people spend the majority of their lives in bed. He’s worked his way up through the ranks, becoming head chef of the Michelin-starred L’ortolan, before spending four years at the Empress in East London, earning himself two AA rosettes, a Michelin Bib Gourmand and a 32nd spot in the top 50 gastro pubs in the country 2016.
Neither of us could grow a decent enough beard to become Hackney natives though. And the West Country was calling us home. So here we are. In a pair of shipping containers.