Meet The Team: Wimpie Blatt

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9th March 2016 by Wimpie Blatt

Describe Bel & The Dragon

If you have ever visited a Bel & The Dragon restaurant or country inn then you will understand that everything you see, hear, smell, taste & feel is familiar. Yes, even the music. Why would you choose to stay or have lunch or supper at Bel & The Dragon? Because of the atmosphere, the quality of the ingredients, and not forgetting the friendly helpful team that are waiting to greet you.

Describe your role at Bel & The Dragon

Running Bel & The Dragon Reading (and any good restaurant for that matter) is an act of plate-spinning. I manage the supply of ingredients, train my team to do their job well, prepare the facilities, check inventories and more, all before the restaurant opens. Hours of preparation are involved and this is essential if things are to run smoothly. It is much more than a waitress at the front and a chef out the back.

I also learned early on that a General Manager should not be in the office too long. My job is to make sure that every one of our guests is having the best dining experience possible. I am there to make sure that we, as a team, delight our guests and make them want to shout about us (in a good way).

What do you enjoy about your role?

If you ask anyone who has ever worked with me, I would hope they would say that I am easy to get along with. This is not to say that I am a soft touch, but I do believe that it is important to be the type of person that my team can come to with a problem and will try hard not to let down. I pride myself on building loyalty within my team – a loyalty to each other and to the brand. Their success is our success, and it is important not to lose sight of that.

What do you love most about Bel & The Dragon?

Bel & The Dragon is about more than food, drink & bedrooms. We have a great team and the passion & energy that exudes is contagious. Everyone is here because they want to be. I spend up to 12 hours a day with the same people and I have naturally built relationships and grown to love them. We are a team and we support each other. I believe this drives us forward and differentiates us.

Best Bel & The Dragon dish?

Can I firstly say, I love food. Growing up it was always a source of comfort and a way to spend time with family. If I had to pick a favourite then it would be our Jack O’Shea Rib of Beef or our Salt Baked Saddle of Lamb. The ultimate thing about these dishes is the way they are cooked. The Josper Oven, which is essentially a box barbecue loaded with charcoal and surrounded in ceramic & stainless steel, is a beast of a machine and enhances the meat with a charred smokey flavour. As a South African, I take barbeques extremely seriously. 

 Top tipple? 

It depends on what I am eating. With beef or lamb then our 2005 Château Chasse-Spleen is hard to beat.

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