The bar and restaurant at Bureau has become a vital hub for the members and guests who gather there each day, seeking sustenance, treats and libations in good company. Keeping hungry and thirsty creatives satiated from sunup to past sundown is no mean feat, so we’re fortunate to have two enterprising and experienced experts at the helm: Head Chef, Ceri and Restaurant Manager, Liam.
Design District (DD): Hello Ceri and Liam, thanks for taking time out from your busy day. Please tell us a little about your backgrounds.
Ceri: I’m New Zealand born and trained, but have been in London for just over 15 years. I’ve jumped between cafes and restaurants throughout my career, benefitting from big investments in me by small restaurants run with a family dynamic — places like Andrew Edmunds and 10 Greek Street. These restaurants afforded me a lot of creative freedom and helped shape my “modern European” style of cooking.
Liam: Prior to Bureau I worked in a variety of hospitality venues, ranging from bespoke cocktail bars and fine dining restaurants to late night party venues. When I moved to New Zealand aged 18, I realised I had little to no skill outside of my Yorkshire charm, at which point I fell headlong into hospitality — initially with a view to being a chef. However, I soon realised the kitchen was a hot and stressful place, and I could equally indulge my creative instincts on the bar… but with shots!
DD: What attracted you both to Bureau and Design District and what’s the best thing about working here?
Liam: The opportunity to be involved in a project from inception — to really take a lead in building and creating a community and a destination with our own signature on it.
Ceri: I have a strong connection to the creative industries. In addition to my chef work I love to spend time painting in my studio, taking photographs and spending long days sitting in the V&A — calming outlets from a stressful industry. The longer I've been at Design District, the more I’ve come to enjoy the environment. It's such a novelty to be surrounded by like-minded creatives in a space like ours — it doesn’t feel like the standard restaurant routine.
DD: What’s your vision for the restaurant and bar?
Ceri: Our collective vision is to take the best parts of the things we already know, the places we’ve worked and the people who’ve taught us, and create something that keeps evolving, keeps us on our toes and keeps staff and tenants invested in us and our product. And to have fun doing it!
Liam: Both Ceri and myself come from a similar Antipodean hospitality background and as such we’re both keen to push quality products with soul. For both of us the commercial element is very much secondary.
DD: What next for Bureau’s restaurant and bar?
Liam: Now that we have a permanent team in place with a much more clearly defined idea of what our vision and offerings are, we’re keen to start pushing ticketed events and working with other small businesses with similar approaches and ethical values to ourselves.