Richard Bramble is a fine dining chef and co-owner of Bramble Dining which provides private dining and events and wedding catering.
Bramble Dining is a family run business, based in Warwickshire. With a passion for food, Richard and Claudia Bramble wanted to create a company where they could share that passion with other people and still find time for family. At the heart of Bramble Dining are great ingredients, exceptional dishes and the best service for their customers.
As well as catering for weddings and events, Bramble Dining prides itself on bringing top restaurant-quality dining to every kitchen with a choice of three five-course menu options catering for meat and fish lovers, vegans and vegetarians as well as younger diners. And when they’re finished pampering you, they promise to leave your kitchen as they found it – and will even do the dishes!
Self-taught chef Richard Bramble’s love affair with food began aged just 16 when he took on a part-time job as a kitchen porter. He went on to learn new skills while working with chefs at independent Leamington restaurants for 15 years, where he also perfected his favourite English modern and classical French styles.
The couple had to quickly adapt after launching their new private chef and catering service just weeks before the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
It’s a particularly personal chapter for fine dining chef Richard, who vowed to leave restaurant kitchens behind to establish Bramble Dining so he could spend more time with his family. It’s also the result of a childhood promise he made to himself after spending much of his own childhood in foster care.
Bramble Dining also collaborates with holiday accommodation businesses to offer private chef services to their guests.
The Bramble Dining brand is already becoming established nationwide – with a growing portfolio of London and UK clients, including the rich and famous.
Richard said: “I haven’t come from a privileged background with investment behind me. I’ve had to work extremely hard for everything I’ve achieved, and my main drive is my own children. I look at them and am proud that things are better for them, and they have more of a head start than I did.
“I look at the circles I mix in now and the clientele and it’s a big personal step, particularly because a lot of people don’t realise how much I’ve had to go through to get here.”
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, including where you are today, professionally, and what got you here?
My love affair with food began aged just 16 when I took on a part-time job as a kitchen porter. I went on to learn new skills while working with chefs at independent local restaurants where I also perfected my favourite English modern and classical French styles.
After 18 years, I left restaurant kitchens behind to establish Bramble Dining so I could spend more time with my family. I had to quickly adapt after launching, just weeks before the first Covid lockdown.
What or who inspired you to become a chef?
When I first started working in the restaurant industry, I instantly fell in love with the fast-paced kitchen and the atmosphere of the restaurant. At school I loved art and I was able to bring this passion to the kitchen being creative with the food. Mark, my first head chef was a big inspiration and gave me the confidence; not only by teaching me many of the skills I still use today but also pushed and supported me in my career.
Who has been your biggest influence to get you to where you are today?
There have been so many people; the head chefs whom I have worked with I have learnt so much from. My family; my wife, Claudia for not only putting up with the long hours I worked in kitchens but for being there at every step of my career, always supporting and believing in me and our children.
What’s your signature dish?
My signature dish is The Solitary Tree; my inspiration came from the lonely tree in the field by our home. This dessert always amazes each customer as it arrives cloaked in a smoked cloche providing a level of mystery before revealing its true beauty.
What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?
When crafting our menus not only do we want each dish to taste and look amazing, but, most importantly, to ensure that we can recreate each dish outside of the professional kitchen and within our client’s homes.
Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?
I try to create dishes that I enjoy cooking but also enjoy eating.
How would you describe your cooking style?
I love to cook with fantastic ingredients and not play around with them too much and giving them the respect, they deserve.
Do you have a favourite time of year or set of ingredients that you look forward to working with?
Spring and summer; this time of year provides us with so many ingredients that are fresh and vibrant and often taste sweeter.
What is your favourite ingredient to create with?
We create so many different dishes with some many fantastic ingredients, it is too difficult to narrow it down to one.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
I would love to be a professional footballer!
What is your favourite dish to cook at home?
I love to cook omelettes; everyone at home loves them. They are so versatile, you can add any ingredients, have them at any time of the day or night and they are super quick to cook.
When are you happiest?
When I am prepping in my prep kitchen listening to music and at the end of a private dining experience when each guest is fed and happy!
What is your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?
My Japanese knives, the best investment any chef can make.
When you’re not in the kitchen where can you be found?
In my kitchen at home!
What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?
My favourite comfort food has to be a truffle infused cauliflower cheese, especially on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.
Where is your favourite place to dine?
The Ivy in West Street, it is all about great ingredients, classic dishes cooked to perfection, and it is reasonably priced.
What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend?
The dirty burger food trend, the connotation that food is dirty is wrong on so many levels.
What differences do you find working with local produce as opposed to non-local produce in terms of what you can create and flavour?
We are every lucky to live in Warwickshire as we are surrounded by excellent local produce. When in season, produce is more colourful, fresher and tastes better than importing anything from elsewhere. If, as a nation, we could supply enough to meet the demand I am sure all chefs would be in a happier place.
What’s your favourite flavour combination?
My favourite flavour combination is medallions of beef fillet, truffle and parmesan.
What do your future plans entail?
To build Bramble Dining to be big and successful enough to provide a future for my children.
For more details visit: brambledining.com