21 Hospitality by Terry LaybourneIt started with one restaurant in 1988 on Newcastle's revamped Quayside. 21 Queen Street was set up by chef Terry Laybourne, his wife Susan and brother Laurance. Within three years, it had won a Michelin star. Wanting to appeal to a wider audience, and offer different styles and venues, Terry gradually added Bistro 21 (classic bistro, rustic style), Caffe Vivo (contemporary Italian 'peasant' food) and Cafe 21 at Fenwick (sassy, department-store eaterie) and turned the original fine-dining restaurant into Cafe 21, a smart, city-centre bistro. Numerous awards were won along the way including a Michelin Star, Egon Ronay Star, Independent Restaurateur of the Year, Gold Winner Taste of North East England, Newcomer of the Year and an MBE for service to the Hospitality Industry.
Throughout, Terry's right-hand man has been Nick Shottel who originally joined as 21 Queen Street's Manager and is now the Group's Operations Director. Many of 21's staff joined as young apprentices, learnt their craft and worked their way around the Group, or left to spread their wings and returned to take on more senior roles. Key amongst them are Chris Dobson (Head Chef, Cafe 21), Parichat Somsri-Kirby (Head Chef, Cafe 21 at Fenwick), Glen Robson (Head Chef, Caffe Vivo), Matthew Clarkson (Manager, Caffe Vivo), Steve Dunn & Chris Eagle (Manager and Head Chef respectively, The Broad Chare) and Gareth Lambert (Head Chef, Bistro 21). It's a cliche to say 21 is like one, big family - but it is!
Other restaurants may well follow - the latest, The Broad Chare on Newcastle's Quayside, opened in May 2011. Terry has also been involved in other restaurant-based ventures, most notably the creation of Newcastle's leading boutique, four-star hotel, Jesmond Dene House.
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