NEWS
GEMMA BELL AND COMPANY INSPIREDBY news image

WELCOME TO #INSPIREDBY 

23/04/20

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be posting some food and travel Q&As with people that we feel #InspiredBy right now. They are producers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, authors, journalists, entrepreneurs, experts, and they are all simply, inspirational.

 

The idea for this came while reflecting on Gemma’s career.

 

“I’ve been thinking about when I first ventured into the hospitality industry, when I was welcomed wholeheartedly into a vibrant, hard-working and exhilarating world. I met people who encouraged me, mentored me and showed me that a job could be fun, that it could be more than a job to pay the rent and take me through my studying years, but that it could be a career.

 

In the mid-90s I began working for Marco Pierre White whilst finishing off my music degree. It was the height of Brit Pop and London was the ‘coolest’ place to be. Marco was in his element having just opened his infamous restaurant and bar Titanic on Brewer St in Soho, and it was my first foray into the hedonistic restaurant industry as it was then. After a few months, I moved to his super chic Mirabelle restaurant in Mayfair and wheeled carving trolleys into the private dining rooms (pictured above) and carved joints of meat to waiting guests. Marco inspired me with his larger-than-life personality and despite all the madness of that time, his food was sublime and being around him was exciting.

 

In 1999, I landed the job where I would learn much more about hospitality. I was restaurant reception manager for the restaurants at St Martins Lane hotel, hotelier Ian Schrager’s first hotel outside of the States. London hadn’t seen anything like this before and it blew away the cobwebs of the traditional hotel which London was used to.

 

I learnt that starting a breakfast shift at 6am and finishing the day past midnight was a regular day, and for most of that shift I would be standing and smiling and welcoming guests through the doors. It was exhausting but gave an adrenaline rush that was addictive.

 

Ian Schrager is one of the most inspirational and creative hoteliers in the world, but the two small things I took away with me after 5 years working for his company were – always greet every person you walk past and make eye contact with them, and always make sure the matchboxes are placed at exactly the right angle in each ashtray. (Yes, those were the days when we all smoked in restaurants!) I learnt the importance of ‘brand’ and to always emulate its values, I learnt that using the right font and size was the essence of professionalism.

 

When I realised that a move into hospitality PR was the direction my career was taking, I set about finding my mentors. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Alan Crompton-Batt in Mayfair (I can’t remember the restaurant now) but he was Marco’s publicist and it was he who created the ‘rock star chef’ persona. I look back now and feel it was such an honour to learn from him before he sadly passed away.

 

But it was Elizabeth Crompton-Batt who really guided and helped me on my way. I had come to know Elizabeth well since she looked after the PR for all the F&B outlets at Schrager’s hotels. She very kindly gave me some telephone numbers of some journalists to get me going and showed me the nuts and bolts of PR. I phoned up the journalists and invited them to have lunch with me, the rest, they say, is history.”

 

What we hope to do over the coming weeks, is champion truly inspirational people around us. #InspiredBy begins tomorrow… We hope that you enjoy reading their answers as much as we did.

 

 

 

 

GEMMA BELL AND COMPANY GOLD STAR
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THE CONDUIT TO HOST THE NEW YORK TIMES' LONDON CLIMATE FORWARD

14/06/22
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THE UK'S TOP RESTAURANTS ARE NAMED

14/06/22
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COUNTERTALK TO LAUNCH BRAND NEW PLATFORM COUNTERTALK SPACES

09/06/22
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CULT US BURGER SLINGERS LUCKY BUNS TO COME TO CAROUSEL

24/05/22
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TOKLAS APPOINTS NEW HEAD CHEF AND OPENS TERRACE

23/05/22
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DISHOOM TO OPEN NEW SITE IN CANARY WHARF

17/05/22
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BEST SPOTS NATIONWIDE FOR AL FRESCO DINING

12/05/22
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OTTOLENGHI ANNOUNCES BLOOMIN' BEAUTIFUL CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW PAVLOVA

11/05/22
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CAROUSEL'S SUMMER CHEF RESIDENCY LINE-UP

10/05/22
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ANGELA HARTNETT ANNOUNCES LASTEST CAFE MURANO BOOK CLUB LINE-UP

03/05/22
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DISHPATCH LAUNCHES SPRING MENU SERIES

21/04/22
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THE PLATINUM JUBILEE AFTERNOON TEA LAUNCHES AT FORTNUM & MASON TEA SALON

20/04/22
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DISHPATCH TO DELIVER BBQ FEAST FOR FATHER'S DAY

13/04/22
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COLETTE PARTNERS WITH GBBO ALUMNI MANON LAGREVE

12/04/22
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WAREHOUSE LAUNCHES SPECIAL UBUNTU COCKTAIL

11/04/22
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GODDARD & GIBBS TO LAUNCH BRUNCH

11/04/22
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COLETTE’S PLATINUM PICNIC HAMPER

06/04/22
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WILDFARMED: FIXING FOOD TO FIX THE PLANET

06/04/22
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CELEBRATE CHAND RAAT WITH DISHOOM

04/04/22
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SKYE GYNGELL IN CONVERSATION WITH ARIZONA MUSE

30/03/22
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EASTER MADE EASY WITH DISHPATCH

30/03/22
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CELEBRATE GLOBAL CUISINE WITH CAROUSEL

29/03/22
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SPRING-TO-GO TO THROW A FINAL CELEBRATION

25/03/22
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OTTOLENGHI LAUNCHES NEW MENU WITH DISHPATCH

21/03/22
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JKS RESTAURANTS PARTNER WITH LUKE FARRELL

09/03/22
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DISHPATCH'S SPECIAL DELIVERY FOR MOTHER'S DAY

08/03/22
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#COOKFORUKRAINE

07/03/22
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NOPI CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

24/02/22
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CAROUSEL CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WITH ‘THE FEMALE CHEF’ RESIDENCIES

23/02/22
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TOM KERRIDGE PARTNERS WITH DISHPATCH

22/02/22
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PRAWN ON THE LAWN TO REOPEN PRAWN ON THE FARM

21/02/22
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MARLE AT HECKFIELD PLACE AWARDED A MICHELIN GREEN STAR

21/02/22
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DISHPATCH TO PARTNER WITH ST. JOHN AND FKA BLACK AXE MANGAL

15/02/22
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THE BIB GOURMANDS ARE OUT

14/02/22
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VINOTECA BOROUGH TO OFFICIALLY OPEN ON MONDAY 14TH FEBRUARY

11/02/22
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GODDARD & GIBBS TO OPEN 3RD MARCH

10/02/22
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CAFE MURANO BOOK CLUB

07/02/22
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VALENTINE'S DAY IDEAS 

26/01/22
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ANNOUNCING THE COMPASSES INN

26/01/22
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ZAYTOUN'S NEW SEASON OLIVE OIL

18/01/22
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GOILA BUTTER CHICKEN TO LAUNCH 

12/01/22
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OTTOLENGHI TO OPEN A CHELSEA DELI

09/01/22
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CAROUSEL 2022 RESIDENCIES 

06/01/22
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DRY JAN VS WET JAN

01/01/22
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