Interview with Green’s Steakhouse founder Brad Green on opening in Loughton
- Credit: Archant
We spoke with Brad Green, the chef behind the award-winning chain, Green’s Steakhouse, which recently opened its doors in Loughton
Tell us a bit about your background?
Well it's a long story. My Dad, Mick Green, was a successful musician who played in bands like Johnny Kid & The Pirates and Billy Kramer and The Dakotas. He also worked with musicians like Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry and Van Morrison and so I got to spend a lot of time with my Dad on the road. For a long time I thought I would end up the music business until I got into hospitality.
For six years I worked in Il Bottaccio where we used to do high-end dining with Michelin star chefs and that's where I met Marco Pierre White. We covered Paris Hilton's birthday party, London Fashion Week's closing party and even a big Chanel celebration. Then in 2012, I saw a little pub for sale in Southgate, at the time it was derelict but I thought to myself that this was my chance to do my own thing and so I went for it. I even sold my house and moved into the flat above what was to become the first Green's restaurant.
My decision paid off and once we had the capital we moved from the back part of Southgate to the front. I then saw an old post office in Ascot and decided to convert it into a second branch which even attracted some attention from the Mayor of Berkshire who wrote and asked to host his civic ceremony there, which of course we did! Then someone phoned me and told me that there was a great venue for sale in Loughton in the middle of the High Street and I couldn't resist returning to my Essex's roots and so we opened here on December 5.
What do you like most about being located in Loughton?
I like that it is close to my house so I can be here quite a lot and it gives me a chance to be back in the kitchen. I try and spend time in each of my restaurants, but of course I can't be everywhere all at once. Luckily I have chefs that have worked with me for a decade who run the restaurants and know the standards and procedures.
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What makes Green's Steakhouse different from other restaurants in the area?
We have an approach to food which I have taken with me from my days in Mayfair. It is easy to think of our food as being just burgers and steaks, but we also do a lot of the finer side of things as well. Our attention to detail is supreme, which is why we keep winning awards. We're not looking left and right at other restaurants and we want all other local restaurants to do well too. We've been doing what we do for seven years now, so even though this restaurant is new, this isn't a new concept for us.
What criteria do you use when sourcing ingredients?
There are a few different criteria for us depending on the product. For example, if we are sourcing a new fish we would check if it is fresh, if it is in season, if it is great - not good, great! Everything has to pass the taste test with the back of house team and then the front of house team too. We also consider things like whether it presents nicely and if it is from a sustainable supplier. Everything has to meet 100 per cent of this criteria or it isn't included.
Can you describe the food that you serve?
Our food is high-end and everything we do has that tremendous attention to detail like the mince we use for our burgers, our dry-aged steaks or the buns that we spend a lot of time sourcing. Even the micro herbs have to be perfect. It really has taken seven years to make sure we are absolutely happy to put our name behind the food we serve. We also offer a strong lunch menu that starts from £6.95 as well as our mains. I think it's important to offer a variety and so we've created the perfect steak sandwich and we also put on a proper Sunday roast with fresh sirloin and proper Yorkshire puddings. But at the end of the day I don't want to overcomplicate the menu which is why we only have a handful of options. If you want pasta, go to an Italian restaurant, if you want Thai then go to a Thai restaurant and if you want steak then come to us. This is our niche, which is why we keep our menu simple and change it seasonally to keep everything fresh.
What is your favourite dish on the menu and why?
This changes but at the moment my favourite starter dish is probably the scallops and the reason is the mixture of flavours. There is the creaminess of the fresh scallops which are beautifully cooked and then you have a nice pea puree underneath which is very elegant. There is also charred bacon cut in-between the scallops and then we use micro herbs to enhance the flavours. But in terms of the main course it has to be the tomahawk, which is a great, big huge steak that you can share or eat by yourself.
How would you describe the aesthetics of Green's Steakhouse?
It is edgy and slightly gothic. We play quite funky jazz music and for me the design has to be the same at all the Green's restaurants. There is fire coming out of the middle of the tables, chandeliers with metal cages around them and burnt wood on the walls. I hope that a lot of people are impressed when they come inside. We don't want people to come out and just have steak, I want them to have an experience and even now it still feels like people are coming to my house for dinner like when I lived above the first restaurant.
What is your restaurant's philosophy?
We want everyone to be comfortable here and to have the same experience no matter what they are eating or what budget they are on - whether they are coming for a bite of lunch or here to do what I like to call, 'dining with all the toys'. I wanted to create a restaurant where people could spend £9.99 on one table and feel like they are absolutely in the right place and then on the next table people can be celebrating or having a business meeting and spend £100 a head and still feel like they are in the right place.
What is the next big step for Green's and where do you hope to see the chain in ten years time?
At the moment I am in talks with a British group of investors who would like Green's to come to Dubai. We are only in the initial stages of that but I'm going to fly out there in May to have a look at some site plans. Also, TV production company, Roughcut, have been to Green's and filmed a documentary about us recently which is exciting. Ultimately my feet remain firmly on the ground. I think if in ten years we are still making people happy with their dining experience then I will be happy. The last ten years have been a whirlwind so it'll be exciting to see what the next ten bring.
Green's Steakhouse, 3 Centric Parade, 200 High Street, Loughton, IG10 1DN; 020 8502 3234; greenssteakhouse.com