Gerla de Boer, founder of the Cambridge Food Tour, shares her wisdom of the city’s cuisine…
New year, new places to go. Not just that, but the food scene is also on a roll! From top-notch to Indian, Iraqi and Lebanese to big names coming to Cambridge and the take over of a Cambridge institution.
How do you find out about the new places to eat or drink? I am sure your answer will be via social media.
For a foodie like me it is not just social media, but talking to people and cycling through the city. If I see changes somewhere, I tend to peek my head through the door and find out from the builders. In this way, we are always one of the first to know.
Sometimes I have to keep these changes to myself and I can tell you, that it is quite often very difficult as I love to share it with others.
One of the new names coming to Cambridge I found out about via Instagram. I’ve followed Sam Carter since last year as I noticed he was not only a very good chef but from Cambridge too.
During the summer I asked him via a DM if he could open a restaurant in Cambridge. Much to my surprise, the answer was “soon”! I have to admit, that I did do a little dance. So the waiting game is over and I can now shout it from the roof, Sam has taken over one of the Cambridge institutions, Restaurant 22 on Chesterton Road. It closed in January for a refurb and the plan is to open mid-March.
So who is Sam? At the age of 14, Sam started working in pubs in his hometown of Melton Mowbray (the rural capital of food!). His CV lists the Michelin starred restaurant Hambleton Hall, running a village gastro pub for nearly three years, Gordon Ramsay Holdings (mainly at the Michelin starred Maze but also others in his group) and head chef at UBS where he developed his own style.
No time wasted though as on his days off he spent time working in any kitchen that would let him in to learn, Le champignon Sauvage, Midsummer House, Texture, Pollen Street and Galvin @ Windows were amongst them.
His dream now has come true as he and his fiancee Alex will have their own restaurant and even better, a Cambridge institution! I was lucky enough to have a preview of the menu and it looks fantastic and reasonably priced, the 7-course tasting menu is £45.
Sam’s style is modern British with a big emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients, flavour and texture. The private room will stay and they will be offering catering too!
More openings in 2018:
- The Tiffin Truck – Indian Street Food
- Raymond Blanc – Gastro Pub in Histon
- The Ivy – set to open in April
- Lagona Bakery – Lebanese pastry
- Samaan – Iraqi restaurant
- Parkers Tavern – set to open in June
- Tamburlaine – new team in the kitchen
- Sticky Beaks – taken over by Abantu
- Three Horse Shoes – taken over by Cambscuisine
- Bridges – have had a revamp