Meet Brighton Food Reviewer, Brittany Hart
I grew up as a bit of a beach bum in California, surf boards, seafood and sunshine; and once I finished university I knew I had to head out into the wild world. For the last 8 years I have travelled to 40 countries and have lived in California, Australia, Canada, and now Brighton, and each time I chose a new place to call home it had to be by the sea.
Before my current job in travel, I had worked in catering and hospitality for 15 years. From clearing tables in my Mum’s pub as a kid, slinging hash in breakfast joints to pay for Uni , organising 5* weddings for Hilton Hotels, and crumbing tables in fine dining restaurants all around the globe; I have always been at home in the hospitality world.
I would love to say that I was born with a sophisticated palate, but the reality is that I grew into one while travelling. With every new country I visited my culinary horizons were broadened.
Do you remember the first time you had a green papaya salad, or tasted a New Zealand pavlova? I can, and I can also tell you exactly where I was when I ate Mexican mole for the first time, and had my first whiff of Durian fruit.
The power of food for me is that it allows my palate to travel while I stay in one place, and Brighton has such an incredible passion for food diversity that I can go on culinary holidays anytime I like.
Favourite restaurant in Brighton?
How long is a piece of string?! Pick a genre and Ill tell you a different one every time, but one of my many favourite restaurants in Brighton is the Gingerman.
I love everything about it; from the casual elegance, to the level of service, and of course the care and detail that is given to every single dish.
The seasonal menus always impress and I am a sucker for an amuse bouche.
I also have a personal attachment to the Gingerman, as this was where my boyfriend, now husband and I had our first proper date, so you might call me gastronomically sentimental.
Favourite genre of cuisine and why?
I am a California girl that has lived on several coastlines all around the world, and my family owns shrimp boats on the Mississippi gulf coast, so seafood is my first choice.
Back home we fish, we crab, we even go clam digging, and whatever we catch ends up on the dinner table, so as kids we were taught to waste nothing and try everything.
Whether it be oysters at a Brighton beach shack, blackened catfish in Louisiana, sashimi in Sydney, or crab claws in Cambodia, my taste-buds ache for all the fresh and fantastic food the sea has to offer.
What ‘s important when you visit a restaurant?
Atmosphere and service hands down. I started working in hospitality in California, where exceptional service is the standard.
My mother loved going out to fine dining with me even as a child, and she instilled a passion in me for the full dining experience.
A restaurant can have good food, but spectacular staff and an inviting dining room will make me much more enthusiastic to return.
I would rather go somewhere ‘good’, than to a place that boasts the ‘best’ but has mediocre service and no charm. When you enter a restaurant you aren’t just there to eat, you are there to dine, to indulge, and to make an event of it, and the service and atmosphere play a crucial role.