Latest News | 6 February 2024

The fine dining restaurant with the recipe for success

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In the latest edition of our Innovate Magazine, we meet George Bloor from The Tasting Club – the winner of the Restaurant of the Year title at the most recent Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards.

George initially launched the fine dining business initially as a two-night a week ‘pop-up’.

Today, The Tasting Club has proven so popular that it is now housed above the Buttermilk Coffee House, at Brailsford, where it has doubled its days of operation.

According to George, he set up the business driven simply by a desire to cook “great food for a few people”.

Guests are treated to a 10-course menu which puts playful spins on childhood classic dishes and gives intriguing twists to humble favourites – all cooked with the finest ingredients.

According to George, the key to The Tasting Club’s success is, of course, good food – but without the intimidation that sometimes comes with a fine dining experience.

George told Innovate: “I don’t think the vast majority of people want a ‘butler feel’ to their evening, with a really stiff sommelier in a bow tie.

“I think people want to come and enjoy really good food, with friendly service which makes them feel comfortable.

“You can go to a Michelin-starred restaurant and have an amazing meal, but if you never learn a waiter’s name, if you never have a conversation with any of the staff, it’s just an in-and-out job.

“The meal and the wine might be amazing, but do you have an amazing experience or is that made more by the people and atmosphere?”

In the feature George speaks about how he got into the hospitality industry – as a pot washer at The Lighthouse.

It was while working there that he decided he wanted to be chef. He ended up spending ten years at The Lighthouse and during that time, aged just 21, was named Derbyshire Life magazine’s chef of the year.

He said: “I got to cook so many things and over ten years had input from so many different people.

“When you cook with loads of different chefs, you learn to go out of your comfort zone, learn new techniques. It’s all part of the process and I wouldn’t recommend opening a restaurant before you do that.”

Roll forward to the present day, George has built a great team around him – and is firmly focussed on continuing to turn out award-winning plates of food.

Speaking about The Tasting Club’s success at the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards, George told Innovate: “Winning Restaurant of the Year means such a lot to us.

“At the start we were winging it, but now we’re thinking that maybe we’re not winging it anymore!”

To read the feature in full visit .

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