Published 9 December 2020
Andy Beynon launched Behind in London Fields just as the second lockdown hit. Here we talk to him about opening during a pandemic, the idea behind the restaurant and the plan for 2020 and beyond.
The idea behind Behind is basically that nothing is hidden. The customers can see everything that is going on , they can see all the chefs at work, where the wine and food is stored and prepared. The customers are sitting behind the scenes. When I chose the property, I wanted it to have a hidden element to it so the customers are finding us.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. A restaurant, and having everything explained by the chefs, usually works very well!
I’m serving a surprise menu. I give my diners a choice of whether they want to see the menu or not so there’s some drama around it. We have such a talented team and we’ll always work with the seasons. Our supply chain is amazing!
Every day we get people popping their heads through the door that are foragers or growers, so it’s exciting bringing ingredients in, playing round and adding them on the menu as and when. We only work with the best ingredients so we’ll choose and change the menu quite a lot. An oyster is not going to be great all year, so we’ll hand-pick shellfish and I’m happy to change the menu daily as long as we’re serving the freshet produce.
Yes absolutely, you have the best control over something small and can pick the best of everything. I can also do a four or six-seater table where guests can literally sit on the pass. It’s great and really intimate, and we can all work closely together.
It’s been absolutely horrible. I drew out all the designs myself and got a team together to make it happen, but then on top of wanting everything perfect and the stress of opening, you have this added stress. You don’t want to listen to the news every day because everything is always changing, I just want to focus on the end goal and the restaurant.
I’ve got a bottle shop as well which I want to shout about more. It’s got a well rounded wine list, as well as certain beers as I’m a massive beer fan and want to use niche brewers around London. We didn’t want to offer a fine dining tasting menu to takeaway. You just can’t get that experience at home.
The clientele we’ve already had over 10 days has been amazing. We’ve had some amazing feedback and in a way it has been a blessing in disguise as we’ve created a small buzz. We’ve had a repeat customer already and that kind of thing just means so much to me! People wanting to eat my food after two days of going back.
It’s good to be back in the kitchen. It’s good to have schedule again.