While Artichoke’s kitchen and upstairs were being refurbished after being lost in a fire in 2008, Gear didn’t sit still. He worked at Copenhagen’s legendary restaurant NOMA, then returned to forage his ingredients, as he had as a child growing up in Dorset.
Now a Michelin Rising Star and the Good Food Guide’s 2011 pick for Best New Entry, Artichoke has expanded to take over the next-door building, where the fire started in the first place.
Says the Good Food Guide of the menu at Artichoke: ‘Intricacy never gets out of hand and every detail makes sense; flavours have room to breathe and cohesive natural empathy is key.’ And the Mobile Food Guide says that Gear ‘has taken his French inspiration and once again applied his unique culinary talents to create dishes which are both innovative and elegant.’
Gear and his wife Jacqueline get many of their ingredients foraging in their backyard and even occasionally from their customers, so British treats form the backbone of Artichoke’s cosmopolitan food.
Gear is also fond of unexpected textures, and pays careful attention to the balance of smooth and rough, softness and crunch – he even recently added a crispy preparation of snails to his menu.