Or the casual chef, pasta is something we can do ourselves. No professional needed. If we go out to eat, pasta is not what we order – we can have it at home.
Andrew McLeod is trying to change that with Emilia’s Crafted Pasta, the restaurant at St. Catherine’s Docks, Aldgate, and a third one coming to Canary Wharf next year.
The Padella at Borough Market is part of the same trick, making pasta a delicious, if not delicious, meal at least deserving of due respect.
MacLeod, just 30, sets it this way: “People want to go out for the steak, or the pizza. They don’t want to go for the pasta.. Essentially these are the dishes we’re about to eat, making them at home.” It’ll take you hours. Like Honest Burgers comes in and says, We want to show people what a burger is. We want to make pasta as good as can be done.”
He spent a year traveling in Italy to see how the experts did it first.
Sure, Aldgate Restaurant feels refreshing. They haven’t wasted money on jewelry. It’s about the food.
MacLeod grew up opposite Grenfell Tower in West London with a Russian mother and a Scottish father.
Mom is clearly important here, emphasizing the family’s healthy eating.
“Mom believes that people are getting sick more and more because they are eating GM foods. She comes to the restaurant to sample the food,” which apparently has to pass the mom test.
But wait, pasta is calorie heavy carbs, of which we should be eating less, no?
“If you make it fresh and in the right way, it gets digested properly. When we started, we thought, what if you ate this everyday? That’s all I did for three years, I didn’t get fat, I got healthy. ,
Macleod is a mathematician.
After university he turned down an offer to work on Wall Street. “A week before I left, I said I wasn’t going. Papa said, do whatever you want with your heart. My mother was tearing her hair.”
He claims the family is continuing through the pandemic.
“Even in World War II, restaurants didn’t have to close. And we’ve never had a lot of money behind us, we’re tight enough. The furloughs made a family. We took government money and topped up. Managers all bottom rung But we got started, so we are pretty fit.”
What about supply chain issues? “We order a lot of goods from Italy. All the stuff we put in, took a week to arrive, now takes five weeks, it’s a juggling game, it’s been a nightmare. ,
McLeod says his seed funding came partly from peers who had seen him play poker in college and believed in him.
“Some people invested because they saw me play poker, but they were far from sure it would work. Most people thought we would fail.”
He opened in St. Catherine’s Dock with £100,000.
“Everyone said you need at least half a million quid to open a restaurant.”
How big of a chain can Emily become? And don’t big chains wear out quickly? “We grow only when we think we can increase the quality. We will not move forward until our foundation is strong.
What happens if an investor comes in and wants the prices to go up and the quality down?
“We wouldn’t get involved with anyone like that. Restaurants are personal experiences in a way that Pret isn’t. That’s what a lot of people with private equity have done wrong. We have perspectives, but we’re like, we’re fine. Thank you.” . We will only go with a partner who shares our values.”
“I think things are turning in our favor. I think private equity is realizing that it’s not just about pump and dump. Consumers are knowledgeable and it’s not like they don’t have options. “
The price range is mid-market, affordable, at around £15 for a freshly made pasta dish and a drink.
and eating? The food is great. try it.