My Million Pound Menu: Investor offers couple a proposal
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Chef and entrepreneur Atul Kochar believed in the couple’s menu & their vision, and offered them some help. Mr Kochar became the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star in the UK and owns Benares, a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair.
He said: “I have a proposal.
“I feel that the project at this stage is not ready, it’s not a concept that we can put in the restaurant yet.
“However, it would be a shame if I didn’t come out to help.
“According to me, it will take a good six to nine months to work together.
“By the end of it, if the concept is ready and you feel that its good, and I feel that its good and my team has confidence in it, then we can go and invest money into you.
“I think it will cost us about 150-200 thousand pounds and if it’s acceptable then let’s shake hands.”
Husband and wife Rupert and Marita initially wanted an investment of £140k so the possibility of getting more than that would put them in a good position to achieve their vision.
The couple were overjoyed with the outcome and said: “That’s a generous proposal.
“What a gift. That is the best outcome ever.”
“We can learn off that, it’s not going to be plain sailing … but I’m at peace now,” Rupert added.
Rupert and Marita wanted to open ‘Bubble&’ as a national chain, reinventing the English classic bubble and squeak.
Bubble & Squeak is made with the leftover vegetables from a roast dinner – usually potato and cabbage plus any other veg, mashed, and fried together until the mixture is brown on all sides.
Rupert spotted a gap in the market while working at a gastropub as head chef, believing that the much-loved dish of bubble and squeak could be as versatile as pizza or pasta.
In 2013 they both gave up their jobs to follow their dream and open a food stall – Bubble&.
Rupert’s dishes won two Great Taste Awards and customers queued for his bubble & classic, topped with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and bacon, and his bubble & halloumi curry, topped with a halloumi curry.
Mr Kochar continued: “Maybe nine months down the line I will have a massive smile on my face, and we will be planning not one, but two or three restaurants.
“I’m happy to be part of your project.”
Impressed with their progress following their winning performance on the programme, Mr Kochar ended up investing into their business.
In 2019, Bubble& had residency at Hawkyns and The Crown Inn for their modern take on the British classic.
The couple were also named as one of the four finalists in the South East Region for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards’ Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.
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