Chef Chat, Part 2: Craig Mallinson of The Red Lion
Today we continue our chat with Craig Mallinson, owner of the Red Lion, about his menu.
EOW: So let's talk about the food some more, how did it all start and then how did it evolve?
Mallinson: We started off with a basic menu. We had our sausage rolls, bangers and fis and chips, of course. It was all very basic stuff. But because I was here 18 hours a day, seven days a week for the first two years we were open, I got really bored of the food here. So I thought, "Well, I got a kitchen back there and I can cook, let's start messing around." That's how the Red Lion's focus on food started. Thoughout the years, we had lots of very talented chefs walk through our doors and contribute improvements to what we already had. We have tried many different things. All the good ideas have stuck. So our menu here has been a collage, if you like, of different ideas that have come together over the years.
EOW: How have your customers contributed to your food offerings?
Mallinson: Because I'm here so often, I'm very accessible and approachable, or at least I like to think I am. Most Americans are quick to tell me what they do like. Most Englishmen are quick to tell me what they don't like. Either way, I listen because I want you back. I want people to be able to feel like this is their pub. It's not my pub. It's our pub. It's a place where we can all come and enjoy. So if you like something or don't like something, I'm going to listen.
EOW: So if it were someone's first time to come to the Red Lion for a meal, what dishes would you recommend that they have to have?
Tune in Monday for photos and descriptions of Craig's favorite dishes.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.