L'Artisan - Delicatessen & Caterer in Greenwich - London

You would be forgiven for thinking that the A206 otherwise known as Trafalgar Road, the main congested drag, permanent traffic jam, leading all and sundry, in and out of Greenwich on the way to the Blackwall tunnel, is a no man's land for traders.

Yet, L'Artisan, a delicatessen, has been going from strength to strength since its opening last year. People praise the high standard and quality of the food  and L'Artisan appeared in The Guardian top 10 budget restaurants in Greenwich.

Intrigued by the phenomenon, I decided to find the secret of this success and went to interview to the owner: Joris Barbaray.

Joris comes from Bergerac, a town situated in the South West of  France, an area famed for its Anglo-French flavours. Joris reckons that, "In the small towns and villages in the Dordogne, 60 % of the population is English". With a French literature baccaleaureat and a good food family background, dad is a traditional butcher, mum, at one time, was a cheese-monger, Joris's path could have been a straight line.

Instead, he decided to travel through France, Spain, South America learning about all sort of local culinary specialities, before opening shop in Greenwich. His shop is a small outfit with a large window to display his creations: plats du jour such as duck osso-bucco, yummy take-away sandwiches, good looking French fruit-tarts and much much more. Four can seat at one time. There is also a space to display bread and groceries like "sirop de menthe" or tins of sweet creamed chestnut. L'Artisan's door is always open  to let in the customers and  the tantalising aroma fresh home-made meals out.

What do you think of Londoners' food habits?
"When it comes to eating, people look for a certain facility. They know good a meal even if they don't always know how to cook it themselves. There is a demand for good food".

And what about Greenwich?
"Of course, Trafalgar road is not an easy place for trading but if you offer your clients regularity, a consistency in the quality, they will return. Some establishments start real well and quickly nothing follows"
Aaah so this is the secret, but is there more? When ask, Joris smiles warmly,
 "I like to work with local people, I like that kind of proximity, in France we call it 'le commerce de quartier'. I like talk to people, to get to know them.
If they don't have the correct change, I'll give them a small discount, I offer samples so they know in advance what they are buying. My clients are people not numbers, I also like Greenwich cultural melting-pot".

L'Artisan offers a wide range of cooked food from salads to desserts, Joris likes to cook the whole range, "I associate food with moods, when I get up, if I fancy sausages, I'll make sausages that morning. The next day, I might fancy something sweet, then I'll bake a dessert. There is no limitation to cooking, recipes have been around for hundreds of years but each cook will give it a personal touch".

What sell the most?
"Ready made meals. Freshly prepared food. But for a special occasion or a birthday, people will buy an item from the grocery range like a tin of cassoulet."

What surprised you most?
"Rabbit, in a very good way, my clients love rabbit dishes. I worked in Dulwich before where it was difficult to sell anything to do with rabbit. Here, I never cook enough of it, I prepare it in terrines, sauces, grilled, pies...and I like that, because personally....I don't like chicken."

It has been a delight to get behind the scenes of my local deli, to see how much care, knowledge, steadfast work and good quality goes into the meals offered by L'artisan. Thank you Mr Barbaray for the interview.

If you want to know more, drop by: L'Artisan is at 93 Trafalgar Road SE10 9TS, do mention this post and enjoyed the chat.
Click here to see more pictures
keep up with news on twitter : artisanse10


catering jacksonville said...
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Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Thank you Indeed Joris at L'artisan is offering some yummy food

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Thank you Indeed Joris at L'artisan is offering some yummy food

Unknown said...

Fab post. I just reviewed L'Artisan on my blog too... but you are diligent in getting an interview.
I wholeheartedly agree that L'Artisan is a great place!

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Thank you ALex, it may have felt like an interview for L'artisan himself but he is so easy to talk to and so passionate that it was much more like a chat.
Thanks for dropping vy



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