Fine dining chef’s new street food stall has ‘really kicked off’

The former head chef of one of Norwich’s top fine dining restaurants has launched a street food stall offering quality dishes at affordable prices.

Freddie Griggs, 29, from Norwich, worked at Bishop’s Dining Room until November last year, when he decided he wanted to start his own business.

Mr Griggs launched Urban Eatery in December and after meeting the landlord of The Fat Cat & Canary, Christian Hodgkinson, through a mutual friend he began doing Sunday roasts.

He soon quadrupled the covers they were doing and built up a following in the city, with many people telling him it was the best roast in Norwich.

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Mr Griggs’ pop-up at the pub continued to grow and he began doing small plates from Thursdays to Saturdays too, with options such as pastrami steak and pork belly, kimchi and glazed shiitake mushrooms.

Mr Griggs said: “I wanted to start something of my own with the whole ethos based around people being able to eat as good quality food as you would find in a fine dining restaurant without the pretence and price tag.”

Then lockdown happened and it became all about “keeping the brand alive” on social media, he said.

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Once Mr Griggs heard The Fat Cat & Canary was doing takeaway beers, he started doing ramen in their kitchen.

Once prime minister Boris Johnson finally gave the go-ahead for pubs to reopen on July 4, he launched Not Ya Average BBQ there, which now runs every Friday to Sunday, and serves options such as beef short rib and a beetroot-cured salmon burger.

The Urban Eatery is now at the Junkyard Market in St Mary’s Works on Fridays to Sundays too, and he has taken on his “best mate of all time” Darcy Mcleod as his operations manager, while his girlfriend Amelia Balding helps at weekends.

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Mr Griggs added: “It seemed obvious to do barbecues when the pubs could reopen and since then the business has really kicked off.

“Lockdown has been challenging in the respect that you have to keep thinking outside the box, but it has made me evolve.”

The Urban Eatery is at The Fat Cat & Canary in Thorpe Road from 4pm Fridays, 3pm Saturdays and 2pm Sundays, all until late.