Chefs Chris Galvin and Bryn Williams kick off Tottenham Hotspur's On Four dining experience
Top chefs tell Tempus how Spurs' new members club is changing the (beautiful) game when it comes to in-stadium dining
With their new football stadium set for completion next year, Tottenham Hotspur is cooking up a storm with their planned hospitality suite The H Club. The pioneering private members club, costing from £535 per person, per event, offering unmatched views of the beautiful game, access to man of the match ceremonies and player visits capped at 90 members.
But the most delicious innovation in the H Club's repertoire is its partnership with Levy restaurants and the Roux Family – restauranteurs Michel Jr, Albert and Emily Roux – who have designed the On Four fine dining experience, featuring some of country's most exciting chefs – – including Chris Galvin, Bryn Williams and Dipna Anand – who will rotate as head chef to create distinctive match day menus.
Galvin is the Michelin-star chef patron of Galvin Restaurants, which he owns with his brother Jeff, and a lifelong Spurs fan. "It's a bit of a dream come true for me, to be able to cook at the club I really love," he told Tempus. "If there are things to do and food to eat, great cocktails and ambience, then it's a day out for fans. We want to be part of creating that experience." >>
Welsh-born Williams is similarly excited – despite holding no prior allegiance to the club. "I've been cooking and living in North London for the last 10 years, so you could say I've been cooking for the Tottenham mob for long enough that I know the area well," he laughed. "I'm a big sports fan, and I love the stadium environment. I think for me, being a sports fan and being a chef goes hand in hand.
"What Tottenham has created here at the H Club and On Four is a world beater," he told us. "To have four different chefs on a rotation, different cuisines in a fantastic new stadium. Tottenham are playing amazing football, and I think having amazing cuisine in that environment – what's not to like? If you're a food fan and a footie fan, Tottenham's the place to be."
Williams worked under Galvin before launching his own restaurant, and similarly they are both admirers of the Roux family's restaurant dynasty – but that's not to say the rivalry in the kitchen doesn't match that on the pitch. "There's a lot of admiration and respect obviously for the Roux family, for Bryn," said Galvin. "But competitive? Yeah, we're always competitive. We're always out to exceed customer's expectations. But really the focus is on the plate, as Bryn's said many times now, what's important is that we deliver." >>
"We want the quality of the food to match the quality of football being played on the pitch," said Williams, adding ruefully: "Which is a tall order at the moment because Tottenham is playing really well."
Both celebrated chefs believe bringing a fine dining experience to the in-stadium action may open up a whole new way of looking at the restaurant business, but both men say adaptation is the name of the game for any accomplished chef. "We're always willing to change," said Williams. "I think it's in our DNA as a chef to improve and change, to go with modern techniques and cooking styles."
"Most of my life as a chef was just focused on cooking, on being in the kitchen, but in the last 10-15 years we've had to change a lot," confirms Galvin. "Now a chef has to be an accountant, human resources, marketing, very good at social media. I'm a huge believer in what social media has brought to customers. Your picture's out there – so you've got to be better than you were yesterday."