UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN UNDER A ROCK, you must have heard that Worthing’s very own Kenny Tutt won MasterChef last year, and this month his much-anticipated restaurant Pitch opens on Warwick Street on 24 May. Pitch goes live for bookings on 26 April, and Here & Now caught up with Kenny to see how he’s holding up!
Pitch is a great name for a restaurant! What’s the story behind it?
My mum and dad were market traders and basically they’d get me and my brother up at four or five in the morning to get there first and find the very best pitch, where you get the most customers. It comes from that market heritage, that this is now our pitch and the town’s own pitch.
What are you most excited about?
Just having somewhere that people can go and enjoy themselves, have good food, good wine, and conversation– that buzz of people having a good time. What’s drawn me to this world is the feeling of when you run a service and it goes well; there’s not a feeling like it, it’s like winning a football game!
What can we expect from Pitch?
Good food that people want to eat! I’m going to brew my own ale for the restaurant with Harvey’s Ales, which is exciting. We’re going to have an IPA and a stout, we’ve got the cookery school coming, the menu is coming to life and we’re using local suppliers and local producers for everything from tomatoes to fresh fish.
What’s great about food and drink in Worthing right now (other than Pitch of course!)?
I think there’s a big feeling of excitement. Developers are moving in and people are spotting that this is a lovely strip of coast that we can keep investing into. There are so many great places, but rather than being saturated with loads of restaurants there’s lots of room to grow. People starting up their businesses here can set the benchmark, which gives them a bit more freedom in terms of what they can do. It’s all here: we’ve got the Downs on one side, we’re by the sea, we have the produce, we have the weather, we have the people, we just need some people to take a chance and start to fill up some of these disused shops. I’d be happy if they were all filled with restaurants; I don’t know if everyone else would feel the same, but I’m always hungry!
If like us you can’t wait for Pitch, don’t worry – there’s plenty in Worthing to get excited about right now. Crabshack was recently ranked one of Europe’s top 10 beach restaurants in The Guardian, while OM received a Good Food Award for 2019. Shoreham Farmers’ Market is a grand finalist at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards on 15 May, while fellow finalist Jaki Morris from Perfectly Preserved just won two golds at the 2019 World’s Original Marmalade Awards (find her at Goring Farmers’ Market).
From old hands like Indigo at the Ardington, Jonathan Nulty at The Dining Room (another Sussex Food and Drink finalist) or the award-winning Proto Group to thriving upstarts like Auntie Bunny’s Hut or Sunny Worthing winners VBab, the diversity of Worthing has increased in recent years. Pop-up events from eateries such as DD’s Jerk ’n’ Ting (next at The Dining Room on 25 May) and Halloumilicious frequently sell out. Raising the profile of Worthing makes it competitive, which can only be a good thing for local foodies.
In the meantime, keep ‘em peeled for newcomer The Whiskey Rooms on Montague Street, a 30s-style establishment with whiskey from all over the world plus tapas, wines and cask ales from the barrel. We’re also looking forward to the summer opening of the Fox and Finch Alehouse on Littlehampton Road, which is owned Mike and Jo Saveen who previously worked at local micropubs Brooksteed Alehouse and Georgi Fin.
Check Page 13 for our Food & Drink event listings in the May issue or here.
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