Meet Kerth Gumbs.
He’s the head chef at the all-new Boiler and Co.
You’ll find the restaurant in Southwark (population 300,000), but Kerth himself grew up on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla (population 15,000).
There, despite a passion for sports, he soon found himself drawn to food, and his talent propelled him across the Atlantic and into the Michelin-Starred kitchens at Texture, Tom Aikens, and L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon, before finally landing the position of head chef at Ormer Mayfair. It was not an easy journey. But he made it, and’s since scaled further heights, impressing the judges on the Great British Menu, and selling out supper clubs at Carousel under his own banner.
Why the life story? Because the whole kitchen is built around him. The food and the atmosphere both reflect his personality. And it’s one of a man who believes fine-dining should be freed from the unforgiving fetters of classical cuisine. So there are no white tablecloths here, and no ominously hovering waiters.
In fact, the whole venue straddles the line between casual and formal – the sleekly modern space is darkly dressed with cool concrete floors, pebble grey walls, and flashes of industrial brass & copper, and is right next to a buzzing bar, whose heady atmosphere spills out into the dining area. It’s all overlooked by floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the street, which flood the place with light during the day.
Sit down to eat, and Kerth himself will come out to introduce every plate as it comes out of the kitchen. It almost feels like a dinner party. What will follow is a cavalcade of interesting dishes, running from a crab johnny cake with a fiery scotch bonnet mayo, to a warming bowl of fungi (not mushrooms, it’s actually a traditional Caribbean cornmeal dish) with salted fish & octopus, to a plate of meaty roasted scallops with a lightly curried lobster butter sauce, served atop a bowl of dry ice whose sole purpose appears to be sheer theatre. Of the three desserts, the soursop ice lolly & whisky gummy bears might be the best. It genuinely feels like Kerth has put his heritage on a plate, and there isn’t much out there in the city to compare it to.
Matching all of this course-for-course, there’s a cocktail pairing, with half glasses of creatively mixed margarita, daiquiri, negroni, whiskey sours, espresso martinis, and more. They might occasionally risk overwhelming the more delicate flavours of the food, but they often add an extra dimension to them, too.
Of course, Boiler & Co has a lot more going on besides Kerth’s tasting menus too. Their aim appears to become all things to all comers. Obviously there’s that bar, but they also boast a la carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, plus coffees and pastries too.
NOTE: Boiler & Co is open now. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right HERE.
Boiler & Co. | Blue Fin Bldg, 5 Canvey St, SE1 9AN
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