Chef's 'heartbreak' as power issues force him to temporarily close celebrated Little Dunmow restaurant
PUBLISHED: 08:40 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:47 01 April 2019
The co-owner and Michelin star chef at a Little Dunmow restaurant has revealed it is "heartbreaking" to let his customers down, after he took the decision to temporarily shut the celebrated eatery.
It has been a turbulant start to year for Tim Allen, 43, the operator at Tim Allen’s Flitch of Bacon. Having relocated from Derbyshire, he joined the establishment last February and the business was awared a Michelin star in October- the only establishment in Essex to receive the honour.
However, As previously reported in the Broadcast, the restaurant is now closed due to electrical faults. Tim, speaking to the Broadcast explained the restaurant had been riddled with electrical issues for weeks and why he made the “tough” decision to close.
During the seven weeks leading to the closure, diners would be enjoying their meal when the power would go off, tills would sometimes stop working and staff couldn’t use kitchen equipment.
The team were preparing shellfish and venison one Thursday when smoke started coming out of the circuit board, and the building had to be evacuated.
The problem lies with a nearby electricity substation, with insufficient power being produced to run the restaurant. Tim is eagerly waiting for the issue to be fixed.
Sitting in front of a cup of tea at his restaurant Tim explained: “I came to the decision that enough is enough. You can’t keep letting people down. For us its heartbreaking to keep letting people down because it is the exact opposite of what we get out of bed to do every day.”
“We’re trying to do everything we can, that’s physically possible to reopen but obviously we have to follow a process and processes are there for a reason.”
“I’m doing what I can to resolve a temporary measure but in terms of the substation being updated to give the right power to the village area and to us, that’s not in my control.”
Tim has had to throw an “insane amount” of fresh food and although he has paid his staff during the closure period, several employees have chosen to leave because of the uncertainty.
When asked how the turn of event has hit the restaurant financially, the chef replied: “This as a start to the year is just the worst possible start. We wanted to invest in the business differently this year and move the product forward. We’ve done elements of that but its really going to limit what we can do. My only focus now is to be open and to be serving people. Because I want my customers back.”
The chef doesn’t yet know when the restaurant will reopen but when he does staff will ring every would-be dinner who had their reservation cancelled, to offer them a new date.
The father-of-three, who lives in nearby Bocking went on: “We are the only business in this village, the people in the village are proud they have nationally recognised eatery in the village. The restaurant has been a national focus, so to be in this position where we can’t even honour that and serve great food and look after people, its just demoralising. You want to be in there, cooking, with a smile on your face and having happy punters who are coming back.”
“So its tough but we’ve got to keep a smile on our face and grin and bear it and find a way forward.”