Andy Briggs - head chef and co-founder of The Stable
PUBLISHED: 15:09 22 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:09 22 April 2015
Andy Briggs, head chef and co-founder of The Stable, an establishment famous for its local pizza, pies and cider, tells us about what inspired this award-winning concept
As co-founder of The Stable, Andy Briggs opened the UK’s
first pizza, pies and cider venue in the former stable of a Bridport coaching inn run by his brother and sister-in-law in 2009. Six years later The Stable has venues across the West County from Bath, Bristol and Cornwall to Bridport, Poole and Weymouth.
My first experience of cooking
I watched my Mum and Nan cook from an early age, Mum’s curries were great and Nan made a mean rabbit stew with dumplings. Dad also enjoyed cooking and gave me the idea to become a chef.
How did you become a chef?
Dad knew a lot of hoteliers and one of them suggested joining the military as a chef, he said ‘you get trained well, paid well and get to travel the world ‘. I joined the Royal Navy when I was 16 and spent five years training and travelling. I then worked all over the world, France, Greece, Cyprus and Australia where I worked in Sydney for 10 years as a chef and had my own cafe.
What inspired The Stable?
My brother and sister-in-law owned a beautiful 16th-century coaching inn The Bull Hotel in Bridport. At the rear were the old stable and livery buildings. I had just returned from Australia and a decision needed to be made about the buildings. And so The Stable concept was born – to marry great local pizza with great local cider.
What influences your menus?
Great local produce. When I created the menus I visited local farms and producers to get them on board. Our most popular pizza is ‘The Lamb Roast ‘ - marinated Dorset lamb, fresh mint, roasted onions, Ford Farm goats’ cheddar and mozzarella.
Who creates the names for the pizzas?
I come up with most of them. It’s a bit of fun with a few puns thrown in. My last pizza special was ‘The Love Me Tender…Loin’. Our creative team designed a pig dressed as Elvis Presley, complete with shades!
Any favourtie local ingredie!nt?
Ford Farm cheese, they make the fabulous Dorset Smoked Red, Wookey Hole Aged Cheddar, and Billy the Kid goats’ cheddar.
What’s exciting your tastebuds?
The Smoked ‘Mack’ Daddy - smoked mackerel, topped with a rarebit cheese and cider sauce, English spinach, garlic roasted field mushrooms and mozzarella. We serve it with a wedge of lemon and watercress.
What would be your perfect supper?
Slow roasted pork belly with heaps of crackling, hot English mustard, roast potatoes and seasonal winter greens.
Anything new on the menu?
We have a dessert which uses our pizza base with homemade lemon curd, meringue and raspberry coulis. If you have a sweet tooth you should give it a go!
Pizzas from £8.50 (gluten free also available)
• The Bucky Doo: Herb roasted potato, Dorset Blue Vinney cheese, roasted Spanish onions, English spinach, fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella
• The Bridport Blaster: Spicy local chopped pork, Dorset Naga chillies, garlic, red onion, fresh basil, mushrooms, fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella
• The Joe Gundry: Jackson‘s smoked mackerel, smoked salmon, marinated spinach,fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, topped with fresh parsley and lemon
• Billy the Kid: Rosary goats’ cheese, caramelised onions, field mushrooms, fresh spinach, fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, topped with roasted hazelnuts
Local handmade pies (all £9.50) - all served with herb roasted potatoes, pickled onion and tomato chutney
• The Steak Out: Beef, stout and horseradish.
• The Lamb Bam Boogie: Lamb, rosemary, garlic potato and honey.
• The Wild Rooster: Chicken, gammon and leek with a thyme crust.
• The Squish Squash: Spiced butternut squash, sweet potato, goats’ cheese, spinach & plum chutney
There are 80+ different varieties of cider available at The Stable including: Southwest Orchards, Ashridge Devon, Lilley’s, Dorset Draft, Cornish Orchards, Jack Ratt Scrumpy, Talbot Harris, West Milton, Ham Hill Early Drop, Lyme Bay Sparkling, Annings Strawberry & Lyme, Perry’s Barn Owl, and Sheppy’s (half pint £2, pint £4, bottles £4.90)
• Cider Tasting Board: Five different 200ml samplers for £7.50
The Stable is in Bridport, Weymouth, Poole, Bristol, Bath, Fistral Beach and Falmouth. For more details visit stablepizza.com.
• The Stable - Dorset home grown restaurant and cider house serving artisan pizzas, gourmet pies and over 80 types of craft cider, from all across the West Country, established 2009.
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