Nestled amongst the long stretch of Gloucester Road’s eclectic, independent shops, The Gallimaufry has achieved local and national acclaim for its beautiful, home-cooked food and daily live music schedule. We talked with manager Jamie Grey about how the new food laws are keeping the industry on its toes.
Tell us about The Gallimaufry…
We make simple, seasonal British food, using a host of local suppliers. Oh, and we host a damn good party – most nights we’re pulling pints to the best of Bristol’s live music or a grooving to a DJ set. The venue’s got soul, too. It was transformed in 5 days on the site of the former Prom Music Bar with a shoe-string budget in 2012. We’ve lined the walls with murals and installations from local artists.
What does the word ‘gallimaufry’ mean?
Originally a hodgepodge stew of humble ingredients made on the galleys, the word evolved to represent up-cycled things to wear and use around the home. And our interpretation? Making the best out of what’s available to us on a daily basis. Re-using, upcycling or recycling; working with local suppliers, artists & artisans wherever possible.
How did you get here?
I joined the team after a New Zealand sabbatical. I’ve spent time spent drinking wine – I mean working as head sommelier! – at Bordeaux Quay in Bristol, after stints at Rockfish and Manna.
What do you think of the new allergen law?
It’s a challenge. I used to be nervous that the Environmental Health Officer would walk in and ask us about allergen labelling – we might be risking a £5000 fine. But now we’re using FoodTrade Menu I have complete confidence. I just show them our custom labelled menu, and we’re sorted.
Essentially, I think the law’s a good thing. It brings much more awareness to the industry – there are 14 official allergens, and they’re more common than you think. And because restaurants have to be transparent about what’s in their meals, I hope it will encourage other chefs to cook from scratch, rather than buy processed food.
Why did you start using FoodTrade Menu?
I’m very busy – as most managers are – but it’s easy to log on to FTM on my smartphone, and we can make the update right there in the kitchen. All the staff can login so anyone can do it on their shift.
With FTM, it’s easier to update the allergen labelling every time the menu changes. We’re in a routine now – it only takes a few moments each day.
All we have to do is add the ingredients for each dish. We don’t have to worry about what’s an allergen or not, FTM labels them automatically and takes the headache away. I’m by no means a tech whiz, but I found FTM so easy to use. It guides you every step of the way. It’s simple, yet it can manage the most complex menus.
Some other restaurants are spending hundreds of pounds sending their staff to allergen labelling courses or buying expensive manuals, but we don’t need to bother with those, so we’re saving cash, too.
What’s your sourcing ethos?
We use only the freshest, ethically sourced ingredients. These include The French Garden and Gloucester Road Fruits – Bristol-based, locally sourced, fruit and vegetable companies. Powell’s of Overton are good craft butchers that source meat from local farms. Our fish is from Gloucester Road’s The Fish Shop – from order to market to the Galli in one day. Humphrey at Edible Futures supplies us with all sorts of herbs, grown just outside of Bristol on allotments. Source Food Hall of St Nick’s Market do our cheese and also do great charcuterie.
We know our customers passionately care about where our food comes from. FoodTrade Menu helps us to source the best food by matching our ingredients list to local suppliers. They create a food provenance map [feature coming soon!] that we can embed on our website, and send our menu to loads of restaurant listing sites to make sure we get found.
And the future for The Gallimaufry?
Ah, we’ve got so many plans! We’ve just opened up a new restaurant floor so it will be all hands on deck from now on making sure everything goes perfectly. We’re continually growing the menu too – our small plates are great for trying out new, creative dishes. And, of course, we’ll be enjoying the music scene. The next few months are fully booked with new and favourite artists and performers.
Take a look at www.thegallimaufry.co.uk to see what’s happening or to book a table.