Friday, 5 September 2014

5 Questions - Section 33

Guerrilla Dining or Pop-Up restaurants as they are also known have been around for a while, especially in the USA, however they a becoming more popular as people look for new interesting and cheaper alternatives to restaurant eating.
The whole concept is geared around imaginative chefs taking over 'interesting spaces', often disused buildings, car parks, even spare rooms in peoples homes, and often serving up high end food in the most surprising and unexpected venues. The marketing of the guerrilla dining experience is often driven by social media sites like Facebook & Twitter, providing just enough information about an upcoming event that people desperately want to be involved over however short lived the period that the restaurant has 'popped-up'. As pop-ups come and go, everyone wants to be one of the 'cool kids' that managed to say 'I was there!'.
Glasgow is not far away from one such event as Kyle Steel and Chris Gibson get set to launch their own brand of guerrilla dining when Section 33 makes a splash onto the Glasgow dining scene.
Both guys have years of experience within the hospitality trade and have put their creative heads together to create a business idea that is sure to wow the coolest of Glasgow's socialites. In days gone by, Section-33 was the original occasional license within the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976, so a fitting name for a business that plans on popping up anywhere it can. However on the flip of this, if you're served a Section 33 by the council, you've just been given notice that you're about to lose your home! With this in mind, the boys will be supporting local Glasgow homeless charities in the way of food donations, and various other means to help give back to those less fortunate.
As you know, Gerry's Kitchen loves a good story so it was only natural that the boys at Section 33 were given the opportunity to answer '5 Questions'.
Here's the Section 33 story;
How did you get started?
Chris - I've been working in this industry for a long time. I've also been lucky enough to work all over the world with some fantastic chefs. For me it was a case of waiting for the right time and until I met like-minded individuals who wanted to do something a bit different and unconventional.
Kyle – I’ve been in Hospitality for over 13yrs, literally starting at the bottom and working up through various positions; I seem to have developed a unique passion for opening new venues having completed 5 in Glasgow alone. The job that really sparked my love for 5-star service was at The Westin Turnberry Resort.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Chris - Follow your convictions and enjoy yourself but think with your head rather than your heart. Passion is hugely important in what we do, it's what drives us, but it should never cloud your judgement. impeccably organised ;)
Kyle – Be analytical, educated and efficient. Don’t be hesitant in making decisions; the worst kind of decision is no decision at all. And without doubt always try to be an inspirational motivating leader.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
Chris - There's so many different directions we can go in and we have so many ideas for some seriously cool stuff...not just for pop up restaurants. We're keeping those to ourselves right now, but the beauty of this industry nowadays is there are no rules; it's a really exciting place to be.
Kyle – It’s taken over a year of strategic planning to get where we are today so with a strong foundation in place the world is literally our oyster ;) The most important aspect for me is that we are delivering a consistently high product in a unique fashion. As we are planning to support and donate towards the "Glasgow homeless/People in need" community I hope in 5 years we have really made a huge difference to hundreds of families.
If you could only use one venue in the world for a pop-up event, where be & why?
Chris - That's hard to say, I like the venues that have an element of surprise, ones that you wouldn't expect to find or haven't been into. Our venue for our first event is awesome.
Kyle – I’m really happy with our first venue; it’s taken over 3 months of negotiations to secure the site and I couldn’t be happier. The most important factor is that the venue should bring back memories for our guests and be a real talking point for all.
You can invite one guest (living or dead) to your last pop-up event – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Chris - It would have to be Claudia, my partner as she's the person I would want to share an occasion like that with. We'd have fresh crab, blood orange and asparagus followed by Roast Grouse, bread sauce and game chips......granted that seasonally this is impossible..........but we're in fantasy land here right?
Kyle – I should say my wife, as J’ai has been there every step of the way supporting me however on this occasion I’d invite my Gran. As long as I can remember she was always saying, "you should be a plumber, you should be a joiner – get a trade" and didn’t think Hospitality was a professional career choice; as she passed away last year unfortunately she isn’t here to witness what we have created. We’d eat Feather Blade steak, triple cooked chips, tender-stem Broccoli and a nice glass of 1961 Château Latour.
Section 33 will host their very first Glasgow event over the weekend of 3rd-5th October and will be held somewhere cool in Glasgow's Southside. Myself and Nicola have already booked our space for the Saturday evening and are now waiting patiently for further details of this undercover extravaganza. Tickets are on sale now and have been selling well but you can still guarantee your place at Section 33's first foray into guerrilla dining by grabbing your tickets on the website.
To find out more about Section 33, check out this recent interview that was given to STV, or swing by their Facebook or Twitter pages.


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