HERE’S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT RHYS IN HIS OWN WORDS…

My passions, in no particular order, are: food, writing, painting, coffee and cats.

I come from a very wordy family, ‘bookish’ is probably the best description. At 18 I was faced with the choice of going to university to study Art or Literature, my teachers had a showdown and in the battle between the pen and the pallet, the pallet won – but only just.

An Ambitious Cook

I decided to become vegetarian at a young age, at that time the options when eating out were often limited, and supermarkets didn’t stock one tenth of what they have now (for context we’re talking about Reading in the 90’s). As a result I became rather eagle eyed, always on the look out for something special as well as becoming an experimental and ambitious cook myself.

I like my coffee like I like my cats, black.

Redroaster coffee beans, Specialist Coffee Roasters

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE BRIGHTON FOOD SCENE?

I moved to Brighton in 2002, a main draw was the social element, in particular Sunday roasts in pubs with a big group of friends; I think it’s like the Brighton version of the New York Brunch (which is becoming more of a thing here now too).

vegan review, people eating at Brighton restaurant

More than a decade and a half later and the ‘Sunday Session’ is still one of my favourite things to do and with lives inevitably getting busier as you get older it’s a great way to catch up with people you don’t see often.

As a vegan I love living in Brighton, there’s so much variety and almost all venues have to offer at least one or two good vegan options to meet demand.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU VISIT A RESTAURANT?

Beyond excellent food, it’s service. I think dining out is more than just eating, it has to encompass a whole sort of experience so you can enter a different world.

What’s needed to create the right ambiance can vary; a romantic, cosy dinner for two needs a different treatment to a celebratory party. Some really great venues, powered by really great professionals, can deliver the full spectrum under one roof, and so smoothly you don’t even notice.

FAVOURITE DISH?

Right now, steamed bao, but my tastes are capricious…

Redroaster, cafe, Brighton, bao bun,