With its signature cowhide banquettes, dim lighting, and air of available excess, the Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho was one of the distinctive British restaurant manufacturers of the Noughties. It’s arduous to recollect, however earlier than Gaucho, for those who wished a steak your choices have been to go excessive, to a costly grill or white-tablecloth French spot, or very low, to the Aberdeen Angus Steak Home. Gaucho cantered into this hole available in the market, shelling out chunks of fantastic pampas-raised cow and lashings of malbec to Metropolis Boys on expense accounts.
That was earlier than the chastening occasions of 2008 and the arrival of the latest competitors within the firm of Goodman, Hawksmoor, Cote, and any variety of different rivals. Gaucho had all the time regarded dated, however now it seemed drained, too. By 2018, after several rounds of personal fairness and a disastrous 22-website diffusion line, Cau, Gaucho entered administration. The cowbell tolled. Enter a brand new CEO, Martin Williams, a one-time actor and former Gaucho supervisor, who labored his manner as much as managing director earlier than he left to arrange M, his meat-led restaurant group.
In Gaucho’s hour of want, Williams noticed a possibility to convey his old employer again to life. Since taking up 18 months in the past, he has set about modernizing the model. Twenty-five years after the primary Gaucho Grill opened, there are indicators the ship is perhaps altering course.
Williams and his executive chefs overtake the menu, placing in a decrease-priced set lunch menu, brunch, and Sunday lunch choices, in addition to more vegan and vegetarian gives and letting native managers tweak issues in keeping with their geography and demographics. “Our beginning reduce of beef was 300 or 400g,” he says, “which was going again to the caveman ethos. It was applicable 10 years in the past, but it surely not is.
On the heart of Williams’s imaginative and prescient is the necessity for extra sustainable beef. In 2020, few ideas look extra environmentally anachronistic than a steak restaurant. Gaucho is consulting with universities within the UK and the USA to work out the carbon value of its beef, which is shipped over from Argentina. It’ll then assist plant trees within the Amazon, working with a Peruvian charity, to help offset the carbon.