By Kevin Pillay
Master chefs are usually seen with a glass of wine in their hand. Now it’s a gin. The UK’s celebrity chefs are launching their own premium gins.
The latest, Trinity Garden Gin, is a collaboration between Chef Adam Byatt of Clapham Old Town’s s Michelin-starred Trinity and Wandsworth’s Green Room Distillery.
“We sampled hundreds of gins to find the right ingredients and tasting notes,” says Rainham-born Byatt whose grandfather was an Army cook. His mother was also a professional trained chef.
He became an apprentice chef at Claridge’s Hotel bfore moving on to the Berkley Hotel, The Square restaurant in Mayfair and opening his first restaurant – Thyme, also in Clapham. In 2016, Trinity received its first Michelin star, while Upstairs received a coveted Bib Gourmand, awarded by the Michelin Guide. In 2019 Adam became Culinary Director at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair.
Chef and restauranteur Marco Pierre White’s Mr White’s London Dry gin is made by Cygnet Distillery in south Wales. James Martin also has his own gin brand.
Two Michelin star chef Michel Roux Jr has teamed up with Nelson’s Distillery and School to create a gin inspired by his iconic French restaurant , the ultra-premium Le Gavroche Gin.
“I was seeking a premium craft gin partner to work with on this product and, by chance, I got to sample Nelson’s unique Timur Gin made from a Szechuan pepper only found in Nepal. It was clear that the distiller had a true understanding of developing flavour combinations., it was no surprise to me that nelson’s founder and master distiller, Neil Harrison, also has a background as a chef.”
Nelson’s Distillery and School is based in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Says its owner : “We have spent quite some time perfecting the Le Gavroche Gin, experimenting with flavour combinations and ensuring we produce the best gin we possibly could.”
Twenty- eighty botanicals go into making “the essence of Provence”. In Staffs.
Scottish TV chef Gordon Ramsay joined St Andrews-based Scottish producer Eden Mill to unveil his first gin, Six Rivers Eden River inspired by the unique flavours of the Kingdom of East Neuk , Fife, an hour north-east of Edinburgh and home of golf. The base of the gin is made with honeyberries, grown six miles from St Andrews in Cupa, alongside Mara seaweed from Crail, pink peppercorn, fennel seeds, lavender, and lemon verbena. “We set out to create a narrative from the area around the distillery, to forage ingredients and develop flavours that told a story,” says Ramsay who has also released “Hell’s Seltzer”.
According to the co-founder of Eden Mill, Paul Miller, it is “the first time the honeyberry has ever been used in a gin of this scale before”.
Devon’s Salcombe Distilling Co partnered with Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth to make Daring Gin. Audemus Spirits also teamed up with Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic and sommelier Paz Levinson to launch Fractal 2.0 and Anne-Sophie Pic Gin. There is also Lunungin ,a Scottish gin with an Asian twist , made by chef Dean Banks. Valentine Warner has a stake in Northumbria’s Hepple Gin. Fame might be ephemeral but wine and spirits last longer.
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