Be determined – never give up. It’s the most important thing Jason Atherton has learned from his mentors. “Every job has its positives and negatives!”, he shares. “My time working for old-school chefs like Marco Pierre White was tough at points because of the demanding kitchen environments, but at the same time I learnt a […]
Alex Wrethman, owner of Charlotte’s Group, has been working in the restaurant business for 20 years – and he’s only 35.
The born and bred London restaurateur and entrepreneur started in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 washing plates at Charlotte’s Place, which he now owns. Alex told us, “As a 15-year-old boy I was pretty happy to work somewhere there were a few pretty waitresses. I quickly learned that 18-year-old girls are not interested in 15-year-old boys who smell of garlic and dirty plates.”
Over the next few years Alex moved up quickly through the kitchen. “I really, really loved it. I was nerdy, reading every cookbook I could lay my hands on, including Larousse Gastronomique cover to cover.”
He applied to do a Business Management degree in Manchester and dreamed of owning his own restaurant one day. During university Alex worked the bar at the original Living Room in Manchester, learning everything he could about bartending. Once again, personal study was key, reading everything from the The Bartender’s Bible to Michael Jackson’s many books on whisky. After a few years The Living Room opened a site in London, which brought Alex back to the capital.
“One day I went to eat at Charlotte’s Place and learned that the property was for sale,” he said. At 23 he bought his first restaurant. “There were two things that helped me purchase the restaurant” my business degree and my parents’ financial support. I paid them market rent for the property over six years until I was able to buy it outright, which I was proud about.”
Throughout October, OpenTable is celebrating Vegetarian Awareness Month by spotlighting chefs, restaurateurs, trends and innovations in the world of plant-based dining. Follow along here. At the same time that OpenTable released our list of the top vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the U.S., our London-based team put together a similar list to celebrate plant-forward restaurants in […]
To celebrate the launch of our new brand, OpenTable is giving away 100 dinners, in 30 cities, all on one unforgettable night — learn more about the giveaway here. We asked a select number of participating restaurants to share responses to 10 questions about the passions we all share: food and dining. Chef Tom Sellers gained his first […]