Char­lie’s PÁN-do at­ti­tude will see restau­rant trans­formed

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wok­ing­ham­pa­

A POP­U­LAR town cen­tre restau­rant is to be trans­formed into a Pan-Asian venue of­fer­ing tapas style din­ing.

Wok­ing­ham res­i­dent Char­lie Blacker is get­ting the keys to The Teak House in Peach Street this week­end and will re-open it next week as PÁN.

The 42-year-old has spent the past seven years work­ing on pri­vate su­per yachts, cook­ing for the uber rich and fa­mous all over the world, but now he’s shak­ing off his sea legs in ex­change for bring­ing the world’s cui­sine to Wok­ing­ham.

And Mr Blacker knows his menus, he’s worked in a three Miche­lin starred restau­rant in Ky­oto, and also ap­peared on a TV show that was broad­cast in cen­tral Asia and parts of Rus­sia. It was made while he was work­ing in Kyr­gyzs­tan while on a seven-month char­i­ta­ble project.

Now the for­mer Emm­brook School pupil is look­ing for­ward to shar­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence with the bor­ough’s res­i­dents, but he says it will be an ac­ces­si­ble menu.

“PÁN is bold and blended flavours of­fer­ing con­tem­po­rary Pan-Asian cui­sine,” he told The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per. “It will be a tapas style of din­ing to en­cour­age an in­for­mal and in­ter­ac­tive din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The cook­ing will in­volve tech­niques such as smok­ing, Ja­panese bar­be­cue (hibachi), sous vide, pick­ling and pre­serv­ing: tech­niques from all over the world.”

He is promis­ing that PÁN will serve a choice of eight savoury dishes and two desserts that will rely on sea­sonal and na­tion­ally grown pro­duce. A typ­i­cal menu will have two meat dishes, two fish with the rest plant based and Mr Blacker in­tends to change it reg­u­larly.

He added: “The ser­vice will be warm and in­for­ma­tive (if re­quired) with an as­pect of fun.

“Each server will have an indepth un­der­stand­ing of the flavour off each dish and how it is pre­pared and know how to pair it with the right wine: The ser­vice is to be as im­por­tant as the food.”

And he’s look­ing for­ward to mak­ing his mark on his home town.

“I was born and bred in Emm­brook, but left at 19 to travel round the world,” he said. “I’m com­ing back to open up a new, in­de­pen­dent restau­rant.

“I hop­ing to get peo­ple back into the town cen­tre at a time when peo­ple have been wor­ried about what will hap­pen to it.”

He plans to keep the decor sim­i­lar to what The Teak House cur­rently has but mak­ing it lighter. He’s also promis­ing to mod­ernise it.

“It’s based on stuff I’ve seen in Thai­land and Dubai, it will have a pan-Asian vibe, but will be more con­tem­po­rary. And we’ll use as mich lo­cal pro­duce as pos­si­ble,” Mr Blacker pledged.

“It’s some­thing very dif­fer­ent to what Wok­ing­ham is used to.”

The restau­rant is planned to open on Tues­day.

Chef Char­lie Blacker is to re-open TheTeak House in Wok­ing­ham next week as PÁN, a pan-Asian tapasstyle din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

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