Like most of us at Borough Wines, Frank wears many hats. Not only does he have culinary heritage that stems from two of the greatest kitchens in London, The River Cafe and Moro, but he also is quite the artist.
It was over 15 years ago that Frank Hannon began working with food. Not being terribly foodie before hand, he secured a role on the floor of the River Cafe, he was introduced to ingredients that were of exceptional quality, and simple Italian cooking. He worked on the floor, in the kitchen, was involved in a lot of wine and food tastings and menu development which provided a great starting point to then expand on further.
After River Cafe, he then went to work in the kitchen of Moro, which although it was totally different food
“..it had a similiar ethos – produce led, somewhat relaxed and a kitchen that lacked ‘macho-ness'”.
Having known Muriel for years through mutual friends, they have since worked on a few events in the shop on Wilton Way.
“Muriel asked me to get involved with the new project. What it’s going to be is still evolving. (It’s going to be) interesting – little bit based on a Italian Osteria – Go to a bar, and get a really good bruschetta, that goes great with the wine..”
He goes on to explain “(we’ll have) Charcuterie plates, and then having the option of a main course – keeping it simple. Steak Tartare, salad, good bread. Things that are good for sharing.. We are not a restaurant though – we aren’t trying to make a full menu. We don’t take bookings, we are going to try and keep the maincourses for under a tenner..”
I ask about the origin of the food.. Muriel’s French, as is a lot of the wine list. In my mind I was envisioning cassoulet’s…
“A lot of my cooking is meditteranean, more Italian than French.. I don’t see this being classically Italian either.. It is the things that I like to eat that I want to cook. I don’t have a huge repertoire, I just know what I am passionate about. Like I am really passionate about Bruschetta’s. I think you should be able to go into a bar, and there will be a flavour of the day Bruschetta, and you eat that while you have a glass of wine. Maybe afterwards, you order something more substantial.” Or maybe you don’t. At L’entrepot, it seems that there is no rules to follow. There will be something that will satisfy all of us, at any time of day.
The larger table at the back of the space will be used for wine matching dinners, Winemaker visits, and groups that wish to book it for their own.. I asked Frank what type of food would he be preparing for these..
“If I was to do a dinner tonight, for example, I would love to do a fried leek and chestnut bruschetta followed by a purple sprouting broccoli with Bagna Couda. Maybe with a chilli sausage risotto and then a fruit based dessert.”
“nothing too complicated… We were down at Maltby st last night. They just have a few mains, a few starters, focusing on the wine, really, and it’s all delicious.”
Food will be served from this friday from 7pm. Saturday will be serving both lunch and dinner. From the following week we will also be open on Sunday lunch.
Frank is showing at a location nearby in the next few months. Stay tuned for more details.