Team Fashionista

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Our gorgeous team here at Whyte & Brown has always been filled with interesting and talented individuals. Whether it’s behind the bar or serving your table, all of our staff have a great story to tell.

In today’s post we want to talk about our resident fashionista, Greta. She’s been with the restaurant for over two years. But as well as W&B, Greta’s passion lies in designing and creating beautiful clothes. Since starting high school at age 11, Greta has been obsessed with the fashion industry. She started studying fashion design from an early age and then progressed on to University in her home country of Italy. Since moving to the UK, she’s been looking for a way to unleash this passion and talent and has recently found the perfect outlet in Bricklane Market.

img_9101In the summer this year, Greta started working with an east-end designer called Klaudia Krol who specialises in cool and quirky customised jackets. The pair create incredibly intricate hand-made designs that sit perfectly on vintage jackets and have become a roaring success. With a focus on attention to detail, these jackets are truly works of art!

With the new year rolling up Greta and Klaudia (under the name ‘Red Leatherette’) will be finding a new studio to expand their east London based collection.

To check out Greta’s work, and more amazing vintage finds, head over to the ‘BrickLane Vintage Market’ and say hi.

Spotlight on Nazmi

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It’s been a while since we have featured a member of the team on our blog, so we thought it was about time we told you a bit about our General Manager – Nazmi.

With over 17 years worth of experience in the industry and a vast CV in hospitality, Naz took the reins at the restaurant earlier this year and is loving every minute of it.

He is a strong believer that the secret of a good restaurant is “a fun team with great personalities giving service with a smile.” Working with the mantra that “communication is the key to success” we sat down with him for quick fire question session.

So Nazmi, Halloween or Christmas?

Definitely Christmas! Something about this time of year makes me really appreciate the little things. When the cold weather roles in, I love how the environment changes. Everyone you see, even in central London, has a little spring in their step because of the festive atmosphere. The restaurant has a warm buzz and is alive with people celebrating the festive season. Everyone decorates their houses and of course we deck the halls of W&B too! The flavours of Christmas are warm, hearty and comforting. I could go on and on – I absolutely love it!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs, but some cats are great too.

Wings or Goujons?

Oh god, how can you make me choose? Goujons, if I need my crispy crunchy fix. But if I’m feeling the need for some spice, I’d have to go for our new Sriracha wings.

Beer or cider?

I’m really not a beer man so it has to be cider. Nothing beats a nice beer garden or terrace in the sun with an ice cold refreshing cider!

Favourite holiday location?

Croatia

Why?

I recently got back from a break in Croatia and it was so beautiful. It wasn’t my first time but every time I go I just get so surprised by the beautiful scenery. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The weather is scorching hot (which is always a bonus) and it’s close to my family so It always brings me good memories.

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Summer is my favourite season of the year, I’m a summer junkie and love feeling the sun on my skin. Nothing beats an ice cold cider or a whiskey, sitting in the beautiful heat and just relaxing on a day off!

Favourite dish at W&B?

5 spice chicken. There’s something so incredible about the infusion of spices in the half roast. It’s got a great little kick to it which compliments the sesame oil veg that comes with it. It’s the best free-range chicken I’ve ever had in London and I could eat it everyday!

Favourite Quote?

Dream big, work hard and always smile.

Hobbies?

I love cooking. I make a mean steak, an incredible roast dinner, pretty good fish, and have mastered many pasta dishes. When I’m outside of the kitchen I like to play and watch snooker. I’ve loved it since I was a kid.

Funny fact? 

So, in 1999 I got my first hospitality job working in a club around Carnaby Street. I worked there with a group of friends and it was really fun. After a hectic night shift we all went to get the bus home to South London. I was absolutely knackered and fell asleep on the night bus but didn’t think it was an issue as I was with all my work mates. Boy, was I wrong!  My ‘friends’ thought it would be hilarious to just leave me on the bus and see how far I would go. I woke up in a startled panic in Harrow (North London) in broad day light on a packed bus full of commuters (and made a bit of a fool of myself as it took me so long to realise what was going on). At least I was on the right bus to get me back home!

Thank you Nazmi! You’ve been great!

No worries, if anyone would like a free plate of wings on me quote ‘Nazonthenightbus’ to your waiter and I’ll get them right to you!

Meet the Team – Conor

Here at Whyte & Brown we love to provide our wonderful customers with fantastic service. Conor is part of exactly that. Friendly and energetic we can always count on him to give a super warm welcome.

Originally from Ireland, healing Conor is an absolute delight to have in the restaurant. He’s been with us since we first opened our doors in July 2013 and is one of our senior waiters – who’s always happy to step in and give us a hand where we need it!

There’s a lot more to our fantastic staff than meets the eye so we had a little chat with Conor to dig a bit deeper and help you begin to get to know our simply ace staff.

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Hi Conor, no rx we’ve got some questions for you. Are you ready?

Yeah!

Great. We want to know if you need a coffee to perk you up at work?

Yes, pharmacy definitely. Normally I would have a really lovely iced coffee or a double macchiato. I’m not as hardcore as the italians here – I need some milk to lessen the blow! I definitely, definitely need a coffee to get me going.

Talking of drinks, you’re surrounded by them in the restaurant – do you enjoy a craft beer yourself or is that not your tipple of choice?

I was never really into beer until I started working here. My palette was pretty immature! Beer was such a no go – because I have a very sweet tooth. Now I really would enjoy a beer with a meal. I would have a stout or a craft beer. Actually I would drink stout on it’s own, but then again I am Irish.

What are you some of your favourite things about working at Whyte & Brown?

The people. It’s all about the people for me! I love my colleagues, we’re all like a bit family here. But there’s lots of different things to enjoy about working here. You’ve got the regular customers, they’re always really nice and the gorgeous courtyard and the food here is incredible.

Conor2Let’s change it up. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

That’s so difficult! I would say observant, charming and a little bit crazy.

Now, what 3 words would you use to describe the team?

Crazy, definitely. Hard working and respectful.

We’ll take that as 3 words! We know that you guys enjoy some Apres Poulet (after work drinks!), so what are your favourite nearby haunts?

I could LIVE in Cahoots for the rest of my life. Cahoots is incredible. It’s the place to go after work! We know the guys down there, but it’s not just about that. It’s such a good atmosphere, it’s got the electro swing music and this incredible cocktail list. It’s got such a great quirky vibe. It’s just something different. Cahoots is great, but Rum Kitchen is really good as well – they’re opposite us in Kingly Court. They do great cocktails too and they’re very friendly. Proper RnB, it’s really cool.

As our blackboard extraordinare in chief, have you always been creative?

I have. I’m sure that shocks you to your very core! No, I’ve always been interested in the arts. From a really young age, at school I did my exams in music, art and drama. Outside of Whyte & Brown I’m an actor as well, I trained at a drama school, I do musical theatre and play the piano. Everything to do with the arts interests me. I think food comes in there too, there’s a certain artistry to that. Plating up food and matching foods with wines. Anything creative.

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Talking of acting! What roles have you played recently?

At the moment I’m doing a lot of things. I’m juggling a lot of roles here! I’ve got a tour coming up, I’m doing a show called Miss Nightingale set in 1940s London. One of the characters is a Jewish guy who has ‘escaped the annex’ and that’s the guy I’m playing. He’s a gay character and there’s a lot of equality and politics in the show. And of course it’s a musical! So I’ll be playing piano, singing, dancing and doing all these crazy things. I also do some free lance film work and lots of other stuff too!

You keep busy! When you get home, how do you kick back and relax?

Game of Thrones. Definitely. I’m a massive Game of Thrones fan. I’m also a massive, massive Nintendo nerd so I’ll be playing my Super Nintendo and the Wii and stuff like that. I’ll also play the piano, do some writing or having a drink!

Arya_Stark_4Who is your favourite Game of Thrones character then?

Arya. Definitely Arya. She’s this young girl and she’s so cool and so badass, she’s so powerful. I love Maisie Williams as an actress as well, she’s so good and I love where Arya’s storyline is going.

On your days off, what are you likely to be up to? If it’s not playing Nintendo games, watching Game of Thrones or playing piano!

Generally, I like to have a lie in on my days off. I also love to cook. I love to cook with my housemates. The other night we made an am-a-zing Mexican feast. I also like going to the park and just chilling, having a little snooze in the sun!

Fabulous, thanks for chatting Conor!

Not at all!