The Chilli Pickle is a nationally-acclaimed regional Indian restaurant in the heart of Brighton. We're passionate about Indian culture, local produce and traditional methods.
Alun Sperring has been a chef for 27 years and 15 of those he spent working in great restaurants and hotels overseas in places such as Dubai, Australia, Bermuda, America, Switzerland and on the famous now retired cruise ship the ‘QE2’, but his true passion lies in India. Alun has travelled to India many times with his wife and partner Dawn and this is from where The Chilli Pickle was born.
When Alun studied at catering college 30 years ago it was all about Classic French, Escoffier & The culinary bible ‘Repertoire de la Cuisine’. His initial years honed in on this classic style spent in famous hotels of Switzerland & London. He then went on to travel further afield which influenced his style and passion for spices & big impact flavour food. Alun’s first real experience in Indian cuisine was when he spent an inspirational stint at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster with Chef ‘Vivek Singh’.
When in Dubai Alun took a creative executive role for Jumeirah at the large luxury resort Madinat Jumeirah, there he was exposed to and got a taste for culinary competitions. He was also recognised for his teaching ability and set up a training school for the young chefs and was used in a creative role for the resorts many restaurants.
After so many years abroad Alun & Dawn wanted to return to Brighton to open up their own restaurant. They started with a small bistro in the old lanes with two other chefs. Sabu, whom they met whilst in Kerala in South India & Laxman a Nepalese chef Alun worked with in Dubai.
The menu was always about great Regional Indian food, curries, kebabs and street food and still is today at their bigger site in the town centre. They now have ten regional Indian Chefs from all over India and cater for up to 2500 covers a week.
The Chilli Pickle has won many awards over the years including The National Restaurant Awards top 100 UK restaurants for the last 5 years, The British Curry Awards for Innovation, Casual Dining & Delivery Service on three separate years and a Michelin Bib Gourmand and 2AA Rosettes since the early days all laying testament for consistency, quality and innovation.
Alun is very hands on and still involved with all the menu decisions at The Chilli Pickle and says ‘the key to our success has been to never stand still, we are always looking to be innovative and tweak and fine tune.’ Alun & Dawn travel to India every year for inspiration, always somewhere different and his hunger for learning is reflected in his collection of over 500 cook books!
|What could you not live without in the kitchen?||I know it sounds a bit like a modern chefs cliche, but I couldn't live without my Thermomix. We have 3 in our kitchen and we use them mainly for grinding spices, pastes and herb chutney|
|Whats the most important thing to consider when designing a kitchen?||Space and flow is so important in the design of a kitchen|
|Which kitchen appliance manufacturer supplies your kitchen?||We have a real mix of suppliers as we have a lot of bespoke equipment for our Indian products|
|If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be?||My last meal would be a simple fiery home style chicken curry with steamed rice and a fat glass of red wine|