Well not quite… But we did catch up with Jon Bourke of Bacchus Sundays to find out how they’re stepping up Hoxtons Sunday Roast game!
First off, why is Sunday your favourite day?
My reasons for enjoying Sunday are definitely opposite to our guests. I love the hard work and buzz of a busy Sunday. It’s a different type of work to the rest of the week because our customers are so relaxed and have a wonderful frame of mind. It was important to find the right space to encourage a laid back ambience. With its cool and casual character, the Hoxton Street Studios suits us down to a tee. Also, Sunday evening marks the start of my weekend, so what’s not to love?
Who are your dream Sunday roast guests?
Eddie Izzard, Stephen Fry and David Attenborough for the conversation. Marco Pierre White and Peter Ddorelli for the education.
What is your mum’s roast like?
Very Irish, but full of amazing flavour. I don’t get to eat that style much anymore so really enjoy going home, which is where I learnt to use butter, salt and pepper properly.
Do you agree carrots taste better cut length ways rather than chopped into discs? (Similarly mini square sandwiches are best too)
I think what is dramatically more important is the cooking of the carrot. Don’t boil! Steam if you can’t sous vides. Sous vide machines are becoming very accessible to the home cook now. We cut our carrots quite thick, then cook them at 68 degrees for about an hour in a vacuum packed bag – there’s nothing rushed about our food. They taste so fresh and sweet.
We’ve seen a lot of home sous vide machines pop up as Kickstarter campaigns recently. We definitely reckon there will be a boom in home sous vide cooking next year if not sooner! (We know whats going on our xmas list!)
Last year was definitely the year for street food and pop-ups all over London. Do you think residencies rather than pop ups is a continuation of that or something all together different?
We are lucky to all be in one of the best cities in the world, so many great innovators, especially in the food and beverage industry. Pop up’s have helped make great food accessible to a much wider market. There are a lot of successful pop ups that are trying to find more permanent spaces, I think this will lead to more ‘residencies’. The Bacchus Sunday residency at Hoxton Street Studios has evolved because we are creating a new concept. We only open on Sunday, my favourite day of the week, we stay in a site once we open and there isn’t a defined finish date. We are not restricted in our growth by the usual constraints of this market. Bacchus Sundays has global ambitions.
Bacchus has housed itself in a place with a bit of a shady past; what with it being a bare knuckle boxing club once upon a time and the Krays’ hanging out there.. Was the history of the place a draw for you; taking British food back to its roots?
Bacchus Pub and Kitchen was a marriage made in heaven, it was the right site, with the right background for me to develop the concept I was working on at the time. British food, and the how the British public sees the industry, has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade. There is a very strong British food scene; I am so glad and honoured to be one of the many people trying to champion it.
On the boxing note, who do you secretly really want to punch?
A celebrity chef-boxing match would be fun. I’m sure I could give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money… but only for charity of course!
Oh yeh just for charity. Of course lol 😉
So, you’re off to Ibiza? Is that an excuse for a sunny holiday or is there a link there? (other than the fact a roast is an epic hangover cure!)
Yes Bacchus Sundays is hitting Ibiza in June! We’ve got a stunning villa lined up with views of Ibiza Old Town. Our thinking is to take a classic British dish and tradition to The White Isle for one special event this summer… We are of course going to enjoy a few days in the sun (and clubs) of Ibiza; it’s a way of looking after our team too. We see Bacchus Sundays going global – Ibiza is the first installment of this idea.
We’ve checked out a few places in East offering up great roasts – what makes Bacchus different?
The Sunday roast competition in London has exploded over the last few years. Striving to produce something our guests will enjoy even more is really important, but there are so many components to any roast dinner, getting them all right is a great achievement. At Bacchus our 4 key things to any marvelous roast are good gravy, well-cooked meat, Impeccable roast potatoes, all accompanied with the perfect Yorkshire pudding – I believe the team have pretty much cracked it!
You’ve been quite precise with the cooking of your roasts, is perfection important to you?
Yes, striving to achieve perfection is a huge key to success. I believe in attention to detail, the Bacchus Sundays team has taken this ethos on and elevated it to the next level.
Lastly, what’s your secret roast potato recipe?? We need to know!
Lightness! But how we achieve it is the secret!
Bacchus Sundays runs every Sunday (obviously) Midday to 9pm
12-18 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6NG