10 months ago

INTERVIEW: Chef Tee and his mission to save the Queen’s Arms Pub 

We spoke to local icon Chef Tee about his upcoming project to save this 180 year old pub from desolation and how you can get involved, too. 

Can you introduce yourself to us first and tell us a bit about what you do. 

My name is Chef Tee. I’ve been known for having the restaurant Paradise Cove in Wandsworth. And now I’m a community chef crowdfunding to save the Queen’s Arms pub in Battersea.

Paradise Cove was a real local gem that people loved. What made it so special?

For me, we had a story, which was really unique. I grew up in care and my first job was at a restaurant that enabled me to just do things like furnish my flat, go to school, continue on to higher education. So when I opened my restaurant, regardless of the name, that was always the model. Sadly it closed. But now we’ve been given a new opportunity which is at this pub. To do it on a more stable, secure, bigger story. It’s not the end of the story, it is the beginning of a new chapter. For me, that’s what made makes this whole process different to other restaurants- I think the main thing is that the community have done this, this has not just been me, this has been people, local residents, who have given this multiple lives. And now a second chance too.

Why is the Shaftesbury estate the perfect new home for Paradise Cove?

So for me, I think it’s a bit more than Shaftsbury estate. It’s actually about the pub. This pub has been here for over 180 years! It was built specifically to serve the community. Aince the pandemic- which has affected all of us all of our lives and the hospitality industry. This place has been quiet for four years. No one’s had the gumption to go for it and I said you know what, I’m gonna give it a go. I’m gonna put life into it. And as I said, with other people, we’re going to do it collaboratively. I think that’s the beauty of this. What this pub was built for is happening again in a new life. 

How can people support you in your mission? 

There’s a variety of ways. We are crowdfunding but I’m aware of the cost of them- so people can donate to that, but that’s only if they have anything spare. I’ve written some new ebooks for people to purchase and all the profit will get funnelled into the New Paradise Cove, or people can just share or like! You know, the more people do this or believe in this, the more it’s going to happen and now we’re actually on the home stretch. So, you know, I need as much help as possible, but as long as you’re engaged, that’s the main thing for me.

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