Joshua Overington used to enjoy frightening his guests at his old restaurant, Le Cochon Aveugle. “Cochon became as soon as aggressive and bolshy and urban,” he admits. “We told other folks what they were eating, we didn’t really fabricate dietaries and the song became as soon as a chunk too loud.”
Launched by the chef and his critical other and sommelier counterpart Vicky in 2014, the York restaurant closed towards the end of last year with the pair announcing at the time that they wanted to ‘initiate a new adventure’.
That new adventure is Mýse (pronounced appreciate mise en residence), a extra wide, gallant and grown-up restaurant on the location of a mature pub in Hovingham, a natty village about a 25 minutes’ pressure north of York. Launched last month, it has been conceived as a softer-edged, extra experiential counterpoint to the 20-abnormal hide restaurant with which the pair made their title.
“Mýse is extra feminine. It’s extra relaxed. Issues switch slower and we defend the customer’s hand a chunk extra. We fabricate dietaries. We even provide a vegetarian menu,” says Joshua in a system that suggests he can’t quite recount how accommodating his new restaurant is.
As its title suggested – Le Cochon Aveugle manner the blind pig – the Overington’s mature restaurant equipped a ‘blind’ menu, with guests simplest discovering out what they were eating as it became as soon as served to them. This at instances controversial policy has now been ditched, with Mýse striking its tasting menus on the table because the meal commences. “A system of our diners are mature Cochon guests, so we’re discovering that a excessive share don’t look at it,” Vicky says.
News Bidding adieu to the macaron
No matter this extra customer-centric attitude, Joshua is adamant that his most notorious and due to this truth most requested creation – a jet-unlit macaron stuffed with boudin noir – can also now not ever hit the table at Mýse. “Of us interrogate for it each day but it’s long gone. Finito. Dull. I’m now not doing it all over again. I don’t care how principal you pay me.”
Isn’t that a chunk appreciate Elton John refusing to play Rocket Man? “It became as soon as crucial to me to now not include that dish on the menu right here. It’s now not that I don’t recount it’s a factual dish, it precise doesn’t originate sense in this environment.”
News “We’re targeted on British fabricate right here. That’s now not to affirm that I won’t utilize lemons and stuff appreciate that, on myth of I will, but the principle ingredients on the plate are from the British Isles”
What he manner by right here’s that the pig-blood-sausage-stuffed canapé became as soon as emblematic of Le Cochon Aveugle’s manner in so principal as it became as soon as a creative rob on trendy European cuisine with genuine leanings towards France.
At Mýse, the culinary inspiration and to some extent the ingredients come from closer to dwelling. This is partly due to its rural location and additionally since the pair are now taking a look to create a narrative-driven restaurant experience.
“We’re targeted on British fabricate right here. That’s now not to affirm that I won’t utilize lemons and stuff appreciate that, on myth of I will, but the principle ingredients on the plate are from the British Isles.”
That manner no squab pigeon, no foie gras and – yes – none of that palatable boudin noir, either.
News French fancies
Joshua grew up precise down the freeway from his new digs in Pocklington, a market town to the east of York. At 19, he arrived at Bray’s The Waterside Inn with minimal experience and soon released he wasn’t quite as factual as he thought he became as soon as.
He recalls Alain Roux taking him to one aspect and advising him that he wanted some moral coaching if he became as soon as to work in three-Michelin-starred kitchens. At the time, he became as soon as fixated on France so headed to Paris to recount at Le Cordon Bleu.
“I wished an adventure and the foundation of cooking in Paris became as soon as very romantic,” he recalls. “To at the moment it’s essentially the most efficient decision I’ve ever made. When you’re employed somewhere appreciate that you don’t stop studying. You’re friends with different chefs and you stagger to restaurants in your ruin day. It additionally gave me connections and taught me relating to the culture of working demanding.”
After completing the course, Joshua felt he had unfinished trade with Gallic three-stars so took a job working below Yannick Alléno at his Pavillon Ledoyen flagship in Paris. After about a years of “getting beasted”, he left to work as a private chef in the Alps where he met his future critical other.
Vicky is from the other end of England having grown up in the Dorset village of Bridport. She had dabbled in restaurants in her adolescence and got right here from a meals loving family but ended up turning into a nurse, her profession eventually taking her to France.
The pair’s ‘how we received together story’ is an excellent one. Joshua managed to ruin his leg whereas on a date with any individual else and – in a voice to put some cash on medical bills – sought out Vicky, then merely an acquaintance, for some recommendation. She frogmarched him to health center, and the remaining is history.
News Swine dining
The couple returned to the UK with hopes to launch their own residence but underestimated how principal capital would be required. They ended up working for different other folks, Vicky for Tommy and James Banks at The Dusky Swan at Oldstead (which is simplest about 10 minutes’ pressure from Mýse) and Joshua for Michael O’Hare at his York restaurant that had recently modified its title from The Blind Swine to Le Cochon Aveugle.
At the time, the restaurant became as soon as hasten along the lines of a French bistro serving dishes similar to steak and chips and snails with garlic butter. It wasn’t going so nicely, prompting O’Hare to head to Leeds to launch the very a success Man Unhurried The Curtain.
The landlord ended up offering the restaurant to Joshua – then O’Hare’s quantity two in the kitchen – in 2014. “It all happened snappily and we literally simplest had £800 in the bank so lets now not come up with the money for to alternate the title,” Vicky says. “We had moderately humble ambitions when we relaunched it as our own, it became as soon as basically precise a neighbourhood bistro.”
News Blind ambition
The pair pushed the shrimp status to its limits, creating one in all the UK’s most gallant restaurants (in its latter years Le Cochon Aveugle featured on Restaurant’s checklist of the top 100 areas to eat in the UK).
News “It became as soon as a restaurant that by no manner ought to silent include labored, but via our demanding work and stubbornness it did”
“It happened organically, but when you initiate on that path you wouldn’t really return,” says Joshua. “Cochon became as soon as our studying restaurant – we were simplest 26 when we started. We made quite plenty of mistakes, but we had quite plenty of successes too. It became as soon as next to a Chinese takeaway in a student area on the outskirts of the metropolis centre. It became as soon as a restaurant that by no manner ought to silent include labored, but via our demanding work and stubbornness it did.”
Inevitably the pair outgrew the status. “It wasn’t losing money but it wasn’t making principal either,” he continues. “Economically and creatively it precise wasn’t working for us. There might per chance be simplest so principal you would fabricate in a shrimp small kitchen. It received monotonous. It started to feel appreciate work.”
The Overingtons equipped on the leases for Le Cochon Aveugle and their nearby wine and pizza residence Cave du Cochon, with both web sites closing towards the end of 2022. The cash from the two sales blended with savings and a hefty trade mortgage allowed the pair to aquire the location that now properties Mýse outright.
News A pub no extra
The location that Mýse occupies became as soon as already renowned for its meals having been overhauled and relaunched by Richard and Lindsey Johns as The Hovingham Inn in 2019 (it made the Top 50 Gastropubs checklist in early 2022). But whereas it might per chance maybe actually also include simplest been open about a years it silent took quite plenty of labor to originate the switch from pub to restaurant.
“It became as soon as crucial to us that we were seen as a beautiful dining destination rather than a pub,” says Joshua.
To boot to a cosmetic transformation that has seen the inner brightened and comprehensively decluttered, the rear of the location has been remodelled to create an open kitchen. Partly funded by an unnamed outdoors investor who now has a small stake in the trade, the location’s three letting bedrooms include additionally required quite plenty of labor.
The investment has paid off. While Mýse might per chance defend some pub trappings – together with a bar with about a handpulls and a comfortable relaxed – it’s presumably now not to be mistaken for a village boozer with its whitewashed walls, minimalist feel and Noma-esque dining chairs.
News ‘Elevated grandma cooking’
Mýse‘s £110 10-course tasting menu (a shorter model is readily available at lunch for £85) is partly impressed by Joshua’s grandma, a gallant prepare dinner, by all accounts. “This restaurant is a representation of the meals I ate increasing up. It’s elevated grandma cooking. That retains the things grounded and additionally makes it prankish,” he says.
The meals is excessive-end and creative, then, but is essentially impressed by hearty dishes. There is a rob on Yorkshire pudding and gravy in doughnut fabricate; a cod dish impressed by fish and chips with the fish cooked in pork dripping; and a suave unlit pudding dish that sees the ingredient used to originate a taco-appreciate-object that’s used as a vessel for a grilled langoustine and a pickled rose petal.
The macaron can also include been 86’d, but a handful of dishes and culinary suggestions include survived the lag to the Yorkshire nation-state. First among these is a scallop steamed in its shell with sea urchin butter that’s opened at the table, which Joshua describes as ‘a shut to-ideal dish’.
In general, conventional cooking strategies rob preference over extra contemporary ones, but the kitchen does originate utilize of about a gadgets, now not least an Anti Griddle – a grill that freezes rather than cooks – which is currently being used to set jam spherical entire strawberries with out altering the feel of the fruit itself.
The chef is a lot extra drawn to talking about his ingredients than his strategies, on the other hand, with Mýse going to greater lengths than most with its sourcing. “I’m confident that we have essentially the most efficient. We are a 22-hide restaurant that is open for six services per week so that is achievable,” says Joshua, who has a longstanding relationship with native grower Rocket & Russet.
“I voice him what I desire and he grows it. But I even include to pick it myself. I’m going every week with our two-year-conventional daughter. It’s actually really good and solves a tremendous lisp – great vegetables are tough to accumulate spherical right here.
Seafood additionally requires quite plenty of effort, with the kitchen having to alternate between tons of different suppliers together with a contact in Cornwall that sources straight from the boats, a shellfish guy in Scotland and about a native suppliers that are typically in a status to genuine factual stuff from the east waft.
News Working with Noble Rot
Mýse will be shopping spherical for its fish, but it’s the utilize of precise one dealer for its wine. Even supposing Vicky is extra than in a position to assembling a killer checklist, she has opted to work with Keeling Andrew & Co – hasten by the group unhurried London’s Noble Rot – on myth of she is unable to fully prepare the wine programme due to childcare commitments (Vicky typically doesn’t fabricate evening service).
“It additionally offers us win honest of entry to to wines that would otherwise be demanding to obtain,” she says. “It’s astonishing to peek all these wines that we beforehand didn’t include any likelihood of getting defend of now on the checklist.”
Created in partnership with Keeling Andrew & Co, the 300-bin checklist is tremendous on classic wine regions with a highlight on producers from Japanese France. “Having lived in the Alps we’re tremendous followers of regions appreciate Jura and Savoie, in explicit. They are precisely-made underrated wines and can often provide great stamp,” Vicky continues. “And they tend to be made by small producers the utilize of low-intervention strategies. That’s no doubt our vogue but now not the very funky end; we appreciate our wines to be beautiful and include a sense of residence.”
With simplest small allocations readily available, the wine pairing (£85 at dinner and £65 at lunch) changes frequently and comprises some crucial wines together with Bodegas Lopez de Heredia’s Viña Gravonia and a Saint Aubin 1er cru. An even extra top rate possibility is set to be presented soon.
News Weathering the storm
Mýse is now not often low-payment but it’s priced competitively when compared to different top-end restaurants in the area. “There’s no getting far from the truth that we are a favorable event residence,” Joshua says. “Usually you will be able to include to be a chunk pig-headed about it. We are confident it’s price the money.”
That stated, the pair are nicely aware of how complicated the gorgeous dining market is at the moment by manner of both demand and profitability and include slash their material accordingly. “There might per chance be now not any denying that it goes to be a tough couple of years. This is per chance one in all the worst instances ever to open a restaurant,” says Joshua.
News “Usually you will be able to include to be a chunk pig-headed about it. We are confident it’s price the money”
Yet there are plenty of causes for positivity. The pair include spent the previous eight years making a complicated status work and now include a status with higher facilities in a extra favourable location. And in incompatibility to most different startup gorgeous dining companies, they aren’t starting from scratch when it comes to customer data.
Most importantly, the mature Le Cochon Aveugle pair are walking in with open eyes. “Now we include got designed the trade with the extra challenges restaurants are going via in mind,” Vicky says. “Mýse is as streamlined as it might per chance maybe actually maybe be. We aren’t on my own in doing it but we operate a four-day week, which is factual for the workers and additionally factual for the trade on myth of we are condensing our bookings.”
“We feel sure, we’re getting busier and busier every week.”