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Kaizen: sushi and Asian food restaurant in Burscough

Sushi and small plates are perfect for sharing. Photo: Bohemian Photos
Sushi and small plates are perfect for sharing. Photo: Bohemian Photos

It’s all about the F-word for James Prescott and Keith Taylor – whether that’s food, fast cars or friendships. These three ingredients have been the recipe that’s led to their success in opening Kaizen at Cedar Farm in Mawdesley, Southport Market and, more recently, their Kaizen restaurant in Burscough. It’s a business that’s moving as fast as the F1 world the used to work in.

‘Things have been quick at developing but that’s how we like to do things,’ says Keith. ‘We’re always trying to do better; we even named our restaurant after the Japanese practise - Kaizen - of always trying to do continuously improve.

‘It's every chef’s dream to have your own place. We had the opportunity to do it, we knew we had to take it.’

Great British Life: Innovative dishes and bold flavours profiles wow diners at Kaizen. Photo: Bacon on the BeechInnovative dishes and bold flavours profiles wow diners at Kaizen. Photo: Bacon on the Beech

The pair, who have worked in restaurants across the north including Drunken Duck in Ambleside, Freemasons at Wiswell, West Tower in Aughton and Liverpool’s Hope Street Hotel, spent time before the coronavirus pandemic cooking for VIPS and special guests with Formula One, including for Force India. But when lockdown hit, they came up with a plan for a business closer to home.

‘I’d been in touch with James through F1 and when the first lockdown hit, we wanted to do something,’ recalls Keith. ‘We started doing Asian box meals and it was hard work but great fun.

‘When things started to feel more normal after the first lockdown, we knew we didn’t want to go back to our normal jobs. Cedar Farm’s new food offer was still a few months away, so we worked in other kitchens until the time was right.’

Great British Life: 'Sushi and small plates play a key part of the Kaizen menus' says Keith. 'But we are also more than that.' Photo: Bacon on the Beech'Sushi and small plates play a key part of the Kaizen menus' says Keith. 'But we are also more than that.' Photo: Bacon on the Beech

The business picked up speed and they launched their first permanent base at Cedar Farm in Mawdesley two years ago, serving bao buns, sushi and small plates before opening a street food venue in the new Southport Market months later. When the opportunity to take on the former Blue Mallard pub in Burscough came up, they jumped at the chance. But it wasn’t plane sailing.

‘We’d looked at a site near where we are now in Burscough but we missed out on it,’ says James. ‘From that point Burscough was always the place that got away.

Great British Life: Kaizen in Burscough opened at the start of the year. Photo: Bacon on the BeechKaizen in Burscough opened at the start of the year. Photo: Bacon on the Beech

‘It felt good to be able to get the site we have now. It felt like unfinished business.’

James, who heads up the kitchen draws on his experience working internationally to create the innovative pan Asian sharing plates with exciting flavour profiles - like pork belly sticks with a gochujang glaze, teriyaki bacon rib with caramelised pineapple and crispy fried mustard pickle and crab cakes withy miso mayonnaise - while Keith looks after front of house. Chloe Taylor, their senior sous chef, has been with them since they opened at Cedar Farm and works as part of the team which includes Keith’s 17-year-old son, Alfie.

Sourcing Asian ingredients from leading suppliers in Liverpool as well as meat from Green’s Butchers in Heskin, James and his growing team are aiming to create food to remember.

Great British Life: Colourful small plates are masterminded by chef James Prescott. Photo: Bacon on the BeechColourful small plates are masterminded by chef James Prescott. Photo: Bacon on the Beech

‘James’ flavour profiles are really impressive,’ says Keith. ‘It’s based around umami flavours with some small plates that are meant to be shared. Our sushi, too, is big. We want people to come and enjoy sharing a great meal together, to have that special experience and for guests to think our food is exceptional. We want to be that outstanding place where people must come and eat.’

‘James is passing on his knowledge to our kitchen team. We’ve got a great bunch of people working for us and we’re pleased with how things are going. Now need to push things and go for it.’

And the pair are showing no signs of slowing down with plans of opening another Kaizen outpost at a still in development business in Kendal, Spinning Jennies. They are also always on the lookout for new ventures. They are both determined to forge forward and follow that kaizen philosophy.

Great British Life: Chef James at work in the Kaizen kitchen at Cedar Farm. Photo: Heather CaptureChef James at work in the Kaizen kitchen at Cedar Farm. Photo: Heather Capture

‘The dream is to have more venues, we’ve even considered a pub where we could grow Kaizen,’ says Keith. ‘We want to have some great people trained up and in place so we can focus on growing the brand. If we had another restaurant, we’d look at a different concept. And it would be fun to do something different.

‘We’d love to get some awards, too and it would be great to expand further north. We’re having a lot of fun with the markets and restaurant and want it to continue.’

kaizen-eatery.co.uk



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