Climpson’s Arch wouldn’t be the same without our Head Chef, Tomos Parry. The roastery is filled with mouth-watering aromas from day to night as he concocts dishes using the freshest, seasonal produce that can be found.
We may have the wind tunnel latte art competitions regularly on the Saturday market stall on Broadway Market, but Tomos and the chefs battle it out under their bivouac shelter, creating magic in a shipping container.
Tomos began his days at Climpson Arch as part of the Licky Chops Summer Residency last year, before taking the reigns as Head Chef under the Climpson’s name. Pre-Climpson’s he has worked at the River Cafe, Kitchen Table and even stints at Noma and the Ledbury, just for a bit of name-dropping. Tomos takes inspiration from Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico—they only operate using electricity generated by solar panels, and their menu changes on a daily basis depending on what’s available.
So why is he here? What get’s the juices flowing? He talks of the creative influence working with like-minded people (even if it is a bunch of crazed coffee enthusiasts), the cooking style and freedom of working with a produce led menu. The added bonus, the chefs are up close and personal with customers, not stuck in an underground dungeon or back room.
It’s not your typical ‘shrimp on the barby’ type barbeque at Climpson’s Arch, it’s all about what happens with our custom-made wood fired oven, grills and a La Marzocco Linea Barbeque. The cooking method focuses on charcoal, which brings out an array of complex flavours in each dish. Every item on the menu will have an element of this in it - even down to the bread and butter. Actual bread and butter. The bread is fired over charcoal to bring out crisp, charred flavours and hot coals are added to the oil that goes into butter.
Using birch, oak and English charcoal, this method of cooking brings out a complex bitter vs sweet camaraderie. This style is most noticeable in fruit and vegetables, so watch out for some interesting menu items. Come mid-May it is all about the asparagus, but dessert is the other thing not be missed - think charred nespoli (baby apricots) with biscuits, rhubarb and chocolate. The latest craze is Tomos’ coffee barbeque sauce. It was a huge hit at the London Coffee Festival and now appears on the menu every now and then, incorporating our favourite things: coffee and barbeques.
What’s hot this summer? The area is kicking off with more food and drink hot spots than ever before and the relationships built with suppliers opens up the availability for the freshest, seasonal produce on the market.
What makes Climpson’s special? We collaborate with fellow industry Foodies and Drinkies. Nowhere else has guest chefs, tasting sessions and supper clubs all housed in a coffee roastery!
See Tomos in action Thursday to Sunday at Climpson’s Arch, 374 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB