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Chef features and interviews

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Tanners, Plymouth

So first and foremost thank you very much for inviting me down to Tanners today. Let's start by getting an understanding of Tanners as a business. Tell us what you have in terms of restaurants, operations, covers you do, sites that you run.

(CT) We run Tanners which is the fine dining restaurant and this year will be our twelfth. We serve round about 60 covers, open Tuesday to Saturday, closed Sundays and Mondays. Alongside that we've got the Barbican Kitchen which is our brasserie, which is a seven day week operation, big, big volume of people, over 1,000 every week that come through that operation. And we've just opened the Kitchen Cafe.

Why the Barbican seven days and the other one five?

(CT) Predominantly I think because of the area that it's in. It's on the Barbican, so it can be seasonal, however, because it's also in the same site as Plymouth Gin that really drives the amount of people that come through. It's such a diverse mix of people & clients that come through there.

Tanners is different, a very different operation logistically, a hard site to run purely as it's a mediaeval building dating back to 1490 it's a succession of rooms which demands much more on the front of house staff and it was always, when we first started off, we needed to get at least a day off which didn't happen for quite a few years and we decided to close Tanners, on Sundays and Mondays.

We've grown again, as now alongside the Brasserie operation is the kitchen café which we opened about four weeks ago, it's just a little addition really, it's very simple, coffees, cakes, pastries, sandwiches, that kind of thing, ideally to complement what we do there in the Barbican site, as it is a heritage site.

So how do you Chris and James divide your time between the business then? Who does what role?

(JT) Dividing our time sometimes it used to be a case of, "Right where are you going today?"