Your chance to dine at Chez Bruce, London, UK

Chef Bruce Poole  has generously donated to our online charity auction, offering an exclusive dinner for 2 at his restaurant Chez Bruce, London.

Chez Bruce, London, UK

Chez Bruce, London, UK

The charity auction runs from Monday 18 January, and it’s your chance to bid to dine at one of three Michelin star restaurants in Europe, while supporting our charity – the ground-breaking school for disadvantaged teenagers in Mauritius, Etoile de Mer.

Chef Bruce Poole

The eponymous chef-patron of Chez Bruce, Bruce Poole, has a very simple recipe for restaurant success.

When he first opened the restaurant in Wandsworth, London in 1995 he created a menu based on the kind of food he thought local people eating out would like. Nothing pretentious, no gimmicks, just good food.

As Chef Bruce explains ‘From the outset it was our intention to serve the very best food and drink but within a relaxed informal yet thoroughly professionally orchestrated environment… Restaurants are not about celebrity chefs, managers, owners or design; they are about customers.’

The menu at Chez Bruce

Inside Chez Bruce

Inside Chez Bruce

It is Poole’s reading of customer tastes over the years which has cemented the restaurant’s prestigious reputation. Its exquisite menu of classic modern food based on regional French and Mediterranean cuisine has never gone out of style.

Poole describes how he and Head Chef Matt Christmas set about creating the Chez Bruce menu, ‘We only ever produce dishes which we ourselves love to eat and one can’t really say fairer than that.’

And this simple, customer-focused approach to food has garnered Chez Bruce a loyal customer base and numerous prestigious awards, including the coveted Michelin star.

All these plaudits, however, have come as something of a surprise to Poole who only began his professional cooking career in his mid-twenties. It was only after receiving a degree in history, training in hotel management and working front-of-house in several restaurants that he discovered his true passion. He found himself lured by the excitement and energy of the kitchens and began writing to several leading restaurants looking for a job.

Chez Bruce cheese board

Chez Bruce cheese board

It was Bibendum which finally responded and Poole worked his way up through the kitchen there before moving on to The Square and then Chez Max in Fulham.

When restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin offered him a share in his own restaurant – what would become Chez Bruce – in 1995 he seized the opportunity to do things his own way.

Local to Wandsworth himself, Poole wanted to create the very best local restaurant he could while also indulging his passion for wine.

The team at Chez Bruce are self-proclaimed fanatical wine-lovers searching the globe for the very best old and new. As a result the restaurant now has an extensive wine cellar with a wine list featuring many rare wines during their perfect drinking window.

From the first it has been Poole’s passion for the food, the wine, the friendly local service which has set him and his team apart from other restaurants in the capital. A passion which he shares and passes on to his customers, a passion which keeps them coming back.

Bid in our online charity auction

Constance guests have the chance to share the passion with a dinner for two at Chez Bruce in our online charity auction.

Bid in the Constance Festival charity auction for your chance to dine at Chez Bruce.

Find out more

Visit the website to read more about Chez Bruce.

Bid in our charity auction to dine at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Acclaimed French chef Serge Vieira describes his style of delicious light, simple, cooking as ‘émotion culinaire’ or culinary emotion.

Dining at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Dining at Restaurant Serge Vieira

The menu at his Restaurant Serge Vieira, which he runs with his wife Marie-Aude, is the expression of his culinary creativity and reflects his passionate respect for the food and the environment.

Vieira is adamant that he will only ever work with the best ingredients, always seasonal and, where possible, locally sourced. He is also interested in sustainability and ensures that the meat and fish served at his restaurant will not adversely impact the environment.

Set in a mediaeval fort overlooking the stunning countryside of Chaudes-Aigues in the southern French region of Aveyron, the Château du Couffour reflects the same preoccupation of modern style and traditional values.

Venture up the lime-tree drive and you find a beautiful medieval castle. Look closer and you will discover that integrated into the old fort is a stylish modern construction of glass and wood. The building itself reflects Vieira’s philosophy of combining the culture of taste and simplicity with environmental friendliness.

How Vieira learnt his trade

Born in the Auvergne in 1977, Vieira worked his way up through some of the most impressive kitchens in France before gaining world renowned for winning the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in 2005. For several years Vieira shared his culinary knowledge, travelling the world doing consultations, seminars and training.

In 2006 he was finally able to realise his dream when he and his wife set up their own restaurant named simply, Restaurant Serge Vieira. It was quickly awarded its first Michelin star in recognition of its simple elegant food and reasonably priced menus.

Serge Vieira

Serge Vieira

This year the restaurant picked up a second star, which Vieira is the first to admit is largely thanks to its loyal customer base.

His website greets customers with the message, ‘This year the Michelin Guide has awarded us 2 stars. Many thanks to you all, clients, members of staff and partners: without you no adventure, no honours, no pleasure and no emotion…’

Take your opportunity to experience the passion at Restaurant Serge Vieira – bid for a table for two in our online charity auction and share in Vieira’s ‘émotion culinaire’.

Read more

Bid in the Constance Festival charity auction to dine at Restaurant Serge Vieira

Find out more about Chef Serge Vieira including a guided video tour of the Château by the chef himself at gastro website WBP Stars – Restaurant Serge Vieira

And visit their website to find out more: Restaurant Serge Vieira

Take part in our charity auction to dine at Beau Rivage, Geneva

Michelin-star chef at Le Chat-Botté, Dominique Gauthier, uses three words to sum up his food: nature, simplicity and taste.

At Le Chat Botte - Beau Rivage

At Le Chat Botte – Beau Rivage

The emphasis on simple dishes built around natural products of the finest quality might come as a surprise for a chef who was declared ‘Chef of the Future’ in 2005 by the Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie, and Chef of the Year by GaultMillau in 2009.

Inspiration behind Chef Dominique’s cuisine

Gauthier explains his passion for natural, locally sourced ingredients as coming from his childhood in the small French village La Côte Saint-André. He says that growing up they ate the food they grew in their garden, his father hunted and fished and they prepared and cooked what he caught.

This memory of childhood can be tasted in his food in which he takes the very best simple ingredients and combines it with his extensive culinary skills to create exquisite fine-dining dishes.

How Chef Dominique learnt his trade

Gauthier describes himself as being like a surgeon, spending 10 years as an apprentice in some of the best restaurants in France.

Learning his craft under some of the most famous chefs in the world including Point Ferdinand, Jacques Chibois and Jo Rostand, Gauthier finally found a home as the sous-chef at the Michelin-starred Le Chat-Botté in the legendary Swiss hotel Beau-Rivage.

Having worked his way up over the past 20 years to Head Chef, Gauthier was rewarded with his very own Michelin star.

Chef Dominique Gauthier

Chef Dominique Gauthier

Well settled at the Beau-Rivage with its beautiful views over Lake Geneva, Gauthier now shares his skills with cooking courses run at Le Chat-Botté’s kitchens. Those who prefer just to watch can reserve the ‘chef’s table’ situated in the heart of Gauthier’s kitchen and watch a master at work.

Bid to dine at Le Chat-Botté 

You can bid for a table for two at Le Chat-Botté in the Constance charity auction. As well as sampling some of the best food in the world you will be raising money for a ground-breaking school for disadvantaged teenagers in Mauritius, Etoile de Mer.

Find out more about the Constance Festival charity auction and how to make a bid

Find out more about Chef Dominque Gauthier and Le Chat Botté on the Beau Rivage website.