Restaurant owner battles through tragedy and says: ‘I want to make this a success for my children’

Ollie Moore, left, and Olly Clifford Brown 'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-3026)
Ollie Moore, left, and Olly Clifford Brown 'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-3026)

AFTER his wife died unexpectedly, a restaurant owner is on a mission to ensure their business is a success.

Olly Clifford Brown opened Clifford Brown’s Brasserie in Knowle two years ago with his wife Carrie.

Ham hock and rabbit terrine, roast apple puree and piccalilli.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2917)

Ham hock and rabbit terrine, roast apple puree and piccalilli.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2917)

The 38-year-old and his wife owned a catering business and decided to give their cooking a permanent home.

But a few months ago Carrie died unexpectedly which meant Olly was a single dad to two young children and sole owner of a thriving business.

He said: ‘These last few months have been so hard but concentrating on revamping the restaurant’s menu and making plans to renovate as well has helped me get through it.

‘My family and friends have been incredibly supportive and I want to carry on making our business a success for my children’s sake.’

Sticky Asian pork belly bits with sesame sriracha and pineapple ketchup with salad. 'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2929)

Sticky Asian pork belly bits with sesame sriracha and pineapple ketchup with salad. 'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2929)

As part of the change his friend Ollie Moore, who was head chef at Michelin-starred restaurant, The Black Rat in Winchester, is now heading the kitchen in the restaurant, which was once a chapel.

Ollie said: ‘I wanted a change and Olly approached me about it and I have loved creating dishes for our new menu.’

Lamb fat doughnuts, ham hock and rabbit terrine and sticky Asian pork belly bites with sesame sriracha and pineapple ketchup are just some of the plates of food Ollie has added to the menu.

The 31-year-old  added: ‘It is also nice not to have the stress of a Michelin star to live up to and I don’t think that is something we are particularly striving for here, we just want to cook good and interesting food for our customers.’

Lamb fat doughnuts with a caper and raisin dip'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2924)

Lamb fat doughnuts with a caper and raisin dip'Picture: Sarah Standing (180639-2924)

Clifford Brown’s Brasserie is the only restaurant in Knowle and owner Olly is determined to satisfy his regulars and bring in diners from further afield.

He said: ‘It is great because we have our regulars and people come here to catch up with friends whether it be over a drink at the bar or with dinner.

‘It is important that we don’t alienate people in the village while trying to bring in other people with weird and wonderful dishes.

‘I think we have struck a good balance with good food with something a little different and we change our menus regularly and always have a specials board so there is always something new for our regulars.’

The pair have started offering takeaway pizzas, are running themed events including gin evenings and steak nights and have plans for future pop-ups.