An acclaimed Cardiff chef who has worked in some of London’s most celebrated kitchens has announced a month-long series of pop-ups at a coffee shop in Canton this December.
Chef Alex Vines’ Vines Restaurant will take over the Hard Lines coffee shop on Cowbridge Road for four Fridays before Christmas, offering a five course, seasonal set menu for £45pp.
Originally hailing from the vibrant neighbourhood of Pontcanna, 39-year-old Alex Vines has spent the last 11 years working in the kitchens of some of London’s most celebrated restaurants, including 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen, and Sardine.
Most recently, Alex was the head chef at the Lighthaus in Walthamstow where he gained recognition and praise from the likes of The Observer and Time Out Magazine.
Having started cooking in the kitchen from the age of 10 (his first food memory is helping his mum to blanch almonds for homemade mincemeat), Alex’s pared-back style of cooking has been influenced also by his experiences in London, and by his MSc in Food Policy. As a result, he focuses on truly seasonal and sustainable ingredients and is passionate about working directly with local farmers, designing menus around the produce which comes fresh from the fields each week.
A former vegetarian and keen grower, Alex often uses ingredients from his own garden on his menus, where vegetables take centre stage. The result is an offering that is super fresh, frequently changing and full of flavour – naturally carrying a Mediterranean influence in the summer months before turning North in winter with dishes inspired by traditional British and Eastern European cuisine.
Earlier this year, Alex first introduced Vines Restaurant to his hometown of Cardiff via a short term popup at Ground Bakery in Pontcanna – earning high praise from local food bloggers including Gourmet Gorro.
Building on this success, Alex has now released dates and the full menu for his December pop-ups at Hard Lines, priced at £45pp.