8 years ago when Dawn and I were working in Dubai and she was expecting Stanley, we decided it was time to settle down and shed the expat lifestyle. After working as a chef for over a period of 20 years overseas, gaining experience and knowledge in a range of eclectic cuisines in world class hotels and restaurants with the latter years spent leading kitchen brigades, I felt it was time to ”go it alone”.
Having both travelled to India on numerous occasions with a shared passion for it’s food and culture as well as an inspirational stint at ‘The Cinnamon Club’ and there being a big Indian influence in the kitchens in Dubai which I also embraced, the decision for our future restaurant to be Indian felt very natural to us both and so The Chilli Pickle was born.
The last time I worked in Brighton 28 years ago was as a silver service banquet waiter at the Metropole Hotel whilst studying catering at Brighton Tech (now City College). Dawn has always loved Brighton from regular visits whilst living in London and I’ve always had a soft spot for Brighton and the fact we were doing something quite different we knew it was the perfect place to start.
After searching for the right property for nearly a year we found a spot in the cobbled lanes amongst the jewellery and antique shops in Meeting House Lane. The space was perfect. 50 covers with a real bistro feel to it and a functional but small kitchen space.
With an initial slow start The Chilli Pickle gradually grew through word of mouth and the support of our now regular clientele. As we got busier and gained feedback from diners we knew we were on the right track and so our confidence grew and our style became more clearly defined.
After two and a half years at Meeting House Lane an opportunity came our way that we felt we could not refuse… a move to the restaurant space at myhotel Brighton.
We knew this was a big step for us, but believed we had something special in The Chilli Pickle and had the passion and drive to continue to make this work along with the constant support of our original core team as well as some new additions.
After 3 years in our new venue we have gone from strength to strength. The restaurant has grown in reputation nationally as well as locally with numerous awards and most importantly we continue to welcome our regulars back and enjoy meeting new customers.
Last January we started The Chilli Pickle Canteen – a delivery service offering a unique experience of in-home Indian dining. Bespoke boxed Grand Thalis, Railways Trays & Biryani Sets all inspired by our travels to India. Managing the logistics of delivery proved more difficult than anticipated, controlling the demand from customers all wanting similar times and having enough cars both have both been problematic and we were concerned the standards that we have worked so hard to achieve and maintain were being compromised. We have worked hard to come up with solutions to this. We have purchased another smart car as well as updated the website and created a time slot reservation system which has helped us to prevent uncontrollable blocks of demand and give our customers the piece of mind their delivery will be with them when expected.
We are very proud of what we have achieved and are excited about the future. But be sure we will retain our standards all the way with attention to detail, consistency and a love for what we do.