Robin Gill on the Good Food Guide 2016 top 50 and being named Chef of the Year

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th August 2015

It's been a day of firsts for Robin Gill, chef and owner of The Dairy and The Manor both in Clapham. The two restaurants feature in the Good Food Guide 2016 and coming in at number 45, it's the first time The Dairy has been in the top 50.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Robin about the guide and his shock at taking the Editor's Award for Chef of the Year. It's your first time in the top 50.

JTP-Paradise Garage-9989 low resWas it a proud moment for you and your team?

It was crazy! I got a phone call from Elizabeth Carter (Good Food Guide Editor) on Friday, one of the girls on the floor told me she was on the phone and my heart dropped. She hit me with the news of The Dairy in the top 50 which I was completely overwhelmed by - it's a big one for the team.

>>> The Good Food Guide 2016 - see the top 50 restaurants here

The Manor is also in the guide so it's a massive achievement to have both in there. I've worked in restaurants for years, some of them never got into the guide at all, never mind the top 50. Our scores have progressed since we started and it's really great to be recognised for that.

You were also named Chef of the Year in the Editors' Choice Awards - how did that feel?

I was nearly crying! I wasn't expecting any of it, never mind the Chef of the Year. I hope to continue building what we have created and become established in our surroundings for years to come, cooking ‘til I drop!

What does it mean to you and your business getting into that top 50?Girolles, sea aster, fermented nettles and hay (5) low res

It's just massive and I'm still completely in shock about the whole thing. It's such an important guide and especially within the industry I think. My twitter account, email, phone - they've been going crazy since it was announced. We all work really hard and I almost feel guilty taking the award because it's 100% down to the people that I work with.

>>> Read: Robin Gill, chef-proprietor, The Dairy

We still have the same guys as we started with and I almost feel like I'm accepting the award on behalf of everybody else. It's an amazing team effort, it hasn't just been me. We're a very modest, small bistro in Clapham and any money we've made we have invested back into it. To be recognised among all those big names is completely overwhelming.

Now you are in the top 50, is your aim to push up the list next year?

We don't cook food or set up everyday in the restaurant to climb ranks. We want to fill the restaurant, be confident in what we are doing and improve. We've gone from a four man kitchen to 10/12 chefs - the food is different from day one, it's much more honed in and I think it just keeps getting better. Chicken oyster, crispy skin, kefir, lettuce (4) low resI'm extremely happy with what we are doing and if we can keep growing like this it will be phenomenal.

How are the rest of the team feeling?

The team are on such a high but it brings more pressure. When you achieve something like this people start looking at the restaurant and they want to know why it has achieved these things. We want to live up to that - so it's great but then you have to get your head down and crack on.

By Cara Houchen


>>> Read more on the Good Food Guide 2016 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th August 2015

Robin Gill on the Good Food Guide 2016 top 50 and being named Chef of the Year