Introducing ‘Taste Sussex’

Phil Bartley local celebrity chef who currently runs the kitchens of four local pubs within Brighton and Hove, has taken on the challenge of rejuvenating one of the prime restaurant locations on the waterfront at Brighton Marina

On Monday 28 June, the new restaurant Taste Sussex opens on the Boardwalk where Frankie and Benny’s operated for the last 17 years.

Kirsty Pollard Centre Manager for Brighton Marina said, Phil is a well-known figure at the marina, having set up The Great British Charcuterie here in 2016. The business was so successful it recently expanded exponentially moving into larger premises. With many challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic it is fantastic working on a new project.  We can’t wait for Taste Sussex to open their doors on the Boardwalk complementing our established dining offer.

Phil said, “My business partner Steve Pineau and I are really excited to launch Taste Sussex. We have a completely new concept for Brighton – What you see, is NOT going to be what you get! We thought it would be fun to do a take on branded restaurants. We want to keep the feel of a branded restaurant but spin the food a bit. Our job is to almost make the menu read what you would expect at a chain restaurant but elevate the food to a whole new level. Our goal is to work with all the local suppliers and the farms to create top-notch delicious food but in the style of a branded restaurant. There will be no microwaves or frozen food.”

Phil continued, “We will be sourcing all our ingredients locally from lots of farms through Brighton Food Factory  – tomatoes from Nutbourne Nurseries, delicious salad from Fletching Little Nurseries and all the potatoes will come from the Sussex/ Kent Border. Our fresh fish will be lined caught and sustainable from MCBC Seafoods.

TASTE SUSSEX will also be running cheese and charcuterie evenings and guest chef Take Overs with a few big name chefs from the area who will take over the kitchens and produce their own style of food. Menus will be released early so customers can take full advantage of sampling their favourite chef’s food.

Phil Bartley started his career in food at Brighton’s Metropole when he was just 14 doing work experience. He was a kitchen assistant, which developed into a full time job for three years.  He then became Head Chef at Richards on Western Road for four years before being offered his first Head Chef’s job opening a new restaurant in Worthing at the age of 19.

Phil said, “For me personally I reached the point where I wanted a business but I did not have enough money to open my own restaurant. However, there was an offer of a franchise with the Golden Lion Group at The Cricketers Pub in Brighton. After 6 months they offered me the opportunity to take over the kitchen at Hove Place and I haven’t looked back. I am so excited at last to open my own restaurant at Brighton Marina which is a fantastic location right on the Boardwalk.”

Initially, due to Covid restrictions, Taste Sussex will not operate at full capacity so that customers will have a lot of space between them. There will be regular temperature checks on the staff and the whole restaurant will be sanitized in-between sittings. There is also safe outdoor seating.

Phil and Steve’s aim is to take Taste Sussex around the country and develop the concept to build relationships with local people and suppliers with a view to opening Taste Kent next followed by two or three others.