Cass Titcombe and Louise Chidgey founded Brassica Restaurant & Mercantile in September 2014, having moved from London a few months before. The long term aim was always to work together marrying their complementary skills and experience in the hospitality and retail industries. London restaurants were fast becoming extremely 'concept' lead and both Cass and Louise were keen to open a restaurant which was known for just being a 'jolly good restaurant' with no trends or concepts attached.
With Cass' love of both fishing and cooking fish, it was an obvious choice to move more towards the coast. We work with local suppliers who provide the freshest and nearly always organic produce from rare breed pigs & lamb to Devon Ruby cows - 85% comes from within 15 miles of Beaminster, while the majority of dry ingredients come from Europe either via Borough Market or direct.
Cass has extensive culinary experience. During the late Eighties and early Nineties, he worked in Bath restaurants Hole in the Wall, Circus and Woods. Under David Price’s tutelage at Woods, he learnt how to run the floor, bar and kitchen of a busy restaurant.
In 1994, Cass moved to London and became sous-chef at Daphne’s in South Kensington, followed by opening The Collection and Pasha for Mogens Tholstrup. In 2000 after moving to Sussex, Cass was integral in the opening of The Real Eating Company – a deli, bakery, café and restaurant, specialising in locally sourced Sussex foods and imports from Italy and Spain. In 2005, he co-founded Canteen, with two partners, winning Best UK Restaurant/Observer Food Monthly Award in 2007. For the last few years, Cass has been consulting for large hospitality brands and restaurant groups. Cass is the author of recipe book Canteen: Great British Food.
Louise is one of the UK’s leading design and retail creatives, with expertise in home, interiors and lifestyle. Her career of more than 20 years has included extensive experience in the retail sector as well as the influential global trend forecasting business.
Building her expertise as a Senior Buyer at The Conran Shop, followed by Manager and Design Manager roles at Tom Conran Restaurants, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges. Since 2005, she has gained an international reputation as Head of Home Design at global trend forecasting giant WGSN.com and, from 2010, as Senior Vice President, Content: Product Design at trend forecasting and product development agency Stylus.com. Louise is the co-author of 'Paint & Paper': A masterclass in colour & light.
Graham Chidgey joined the London Wine Trade in 1953 and began by working in cellars treating and bottling Bordeaux, Burgundy, Port and Sherry. At that time all these wines were bottled in London by importing merchants. Following that period Graham then moved to work in the cellars and vineyards of Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux.
In 1965 he took over a small London merchant Laytons Fine Wines which he sold in 1997. During those 32 years Laytons not only covered the classic French wines but were innovative in their sales by introducing Bordeaux sales "en primeur", Domaine bottled Burgundies. Laying down Vintage Champagne for Late Degorgement and the introduction of Brunello and Piedmont wines to a wider audience.
Following the sale of Laytons Graham moved to Tuscany where he began helping to extend the sales possibilities for Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Piedmont.
In November 2014, Graham moved back to England and lives in West Dorset with his wife, the painter Angela Chidgey.