Clarke’s | 22y
Originally from Madeira, Manuel moved to Porto and then travelled with his growing family to St Helier in Jersey. He worked in the kitchens of the Hotel De France there for a time before moving on to London. After registering with the same Catering Agency that Clarke’s used, he was introduced to the Kensington restaurant and has been there for 22 years.
He cycles to work every day and has come to know many of the area’s characters and recognise familiar faces. He’s seen certain regulars grow old and ‘disappear’ over the years, a somewhat sad side-product of long service, but is happy to see their children who come to visit the restaurant with their own young families.
Apart from being responsible for the pot wash area, his other duties include keeping the outside of the restaurant tidy and polishing all the brass. He loves the immediate community and exchanges daily waves with the owner of The Churchill Arms, local gallery owners and friendly residents.
Sally Clarke was instrumental in a couple of the country’s big culinary transformations in the eighties: the use of fresh, seasonal produce, and artisanal bread-making (her bakery opposite the restaurant distributes bread to over a hundred restaurants). She also introduced the concept of the cheese board to the UK. Her eponymous restaurant opened in 1984.