Five minutes with… Kerth Gumbs

Brummell speaks to the celebrated chef about his new restaurant, Boiler & Co, pairing food and cocktails, taking inspiration from growing up in Anguilla and why he’d like to cook for Rihanna

Food and Drink 7 Jan 2022

Chef Kerth Gumbs
Boiler & Co, near to the Tate Modern, will serve food paired with cocktails
Chef Kerth Gumbs promises a menu inspired by his homeland of Anguilla

What can we expect from Boiler & Co?

I wanted to cook and serve food in a place that better reflects my personality, so expect small plates with vibrant flavours, creative cocktails, music and plenty of entertainment! We will have a straight seating interactive tasting menu experience featuring interpretations of flavours I’ve gathered from growing up in the Caribbean; my home land Anguilla.

Boiler & Co will have an interactive tasting menu by chef Kerth Gumbs
Boiler & Co will have an interactive tasting menu by chef Kerth Gumbs

How did you start working with Adam Carr and Cesar Breton and were you a fan of their mixology before working with them on Boiler & Co?

I met Adam and Cesar earlier this year at a cocktail festival. It was only after hopping around many cocktail places and seeing some bars in Dubai with amazing drinks on social media, that I realised it was Adam who was behind some of those creations.

From the first meeting and those thereafter, we all seemed very much in sync with ideas and our thought processes. We are all passionate about what we want to bring to London. Boiler & Co. will focus on ethical working practices to foster an environment that allows continuous thought on staff welfare and development.

How do you develop a menu that works with a cocktail-focused drinks menu?

Having an equal measure approach to the creativity of the food and the mixology gives us plenty of room to bring something new to the plate (and glass). We won’t be limited to the mainstream way of figuring out what wine best pairs with which dish. Instead, we will look to have unique cocktail pairings with the dishes.

A good example will be a dessert of blue cheese ice cream, candied walnuts and mulled raisins which Adam has created a Sazerac cocktail to pair with. Sazerac is a classic cocktail consisting of rye whiskey, absinthe, sugar and bitters that perfectly complement the dessert.

Chef Kerth Gumbs
Chef Kerth Gumbs

Will there be any signature dishes at Boiler & Co and if so, what will they be?

Most definitely! Although, for now, there will be a mix of previous signature creations such as my artichoke custard, toffee artichoke with parmesan & truffle espuma. There will also be a few dishes from my Great British Menu such as my ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ & ‘The Far Away Tree’ for those who didn’t get a chance to experience them due to the pandemic while I was at my last place.

I’m constantly creating and exploring new ideas. The past year has allowed me to reflect and plan. I look forward to getting into the kitchen again, working through logistics to stabilise and develop dishes, some of which will become signatures to this new concept.

What ingredient can you not live without?

I’d say Maldon salt and most fruits from the citrus family.

What are your biggest passions outside of food and drink?

I love to shake a leg to some good tunes, so dancing it will be!

Who, living or dead, would you most like to cook for and what would you make them?

I’d like to cook for Rihanna as I feel her music will pair nicely with my tasting menu and the overall vibe at Boiler & Co. I’d make BBQ lobster with textures of cauliflower, curried coconut lobster butter sauce with Johnny cakes served on the side.