Brown’s Pie Shop, around the corner from the city’s cathedral, is a Steep Hill institution that celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. Described in the latest Harden’s Survey as “a taste of old England”, it was taken over by Gill’s parents Allan and Christine after he left home to train in some of England’s smartest kitchens.
Having bought his parents out, 30-year-old Gill says it has been an emotional home-coming to take over a business with such personal and family as well as local heritage. It is also a big stylistic change for a chef who worked in Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Daniel Clifford’s Midsummer House in Cambridge, graduating to head chef at Roussillon (RIP) in Pimlico and Clifford’s gastropub the Flitch of Bacon.
“It’s a good time for me to change, and I think the public is looking for more casual dining these days,” he said. “I’m not going to rush into too many changes – I want Brown’s to be here for another 50 years.
“But I still have my dreams and ambitions for it. I can hardly believe what’s happened – I really did wash the pots and pans here 15 years ago, and now I’ve come back as managing director.”