ARC’s “Whites and Knives” brigade assignment: Side Door Bistro

ARC’s “Whites and Knives” brigade assignment: Side Door Bistro

ARC’s “Whites and Knives” brigade assignment: Side Door Bistro on Liverpool’s Foodie Street.

Side Door Bistro owner Kitty Rae answers questions on what it’s like to work with ARC Hospitality’s ‘Whites and Knives’ Brigade. The Side Door is consistently listed on the Good Food Guide and is situated on Hope Street: Liverpool’s award winning Foodie Street.

Having always worked in catering and hospitality Kitty Rae and her partner Julian Taylor are experienced restaurateurs. They owned the Norman Knight in the Cotswolds after running the first organic pub in Islington. An affinity and history with Liverpool, saw Kitty and Julian return and go on to play their part in establishing Hope Street as the Foodie Street of Liverpool.

The Side Door has been catering to pre-theatre crowds and families since 2003. The recent high-street trend towards vouchers and discounts has led the Side Door to develop a lunchtime menu for £5.00. The menu reflects their good food guide reputation for producing good food. Only the portions are reduced to suitable lunch sizes.


As Kitty and Julian have worked in catering throughout their professional careers both were familiar with agencies and the occasional requirement to engage a temporary employee. Their previous experiences had left them with negative connotations with the agency tag. Would they get what they were promised?

Fortunately, their chef Andy, formerly of Camp and Furnace, had first-hand experience with Arc Recruitment and recommended our services.

Throughout Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, Arc were relied upon to provide top up commis and experienced Chef de Parties to meet the Bistro’s demands, Kitty was asked to provide some feedback, “the process was really easy, what was refreshing was the honesty, Arc were open about the skill and experience of available chefs”. This honesty is key to how we want our company to be known. We want to work out what is the suitable fit with our client’s requirements and budget.

It has been a real privilege to be able to support the Side Door. They support local businesses, for example stocking ales from the George Wright Brewing Company in St. Helens alongside Liverpool Organic Ale and Liverpool Gin. The menu is also seasonal with a keen eye kept on seasonality, “we use apples from our garden when they are in season”.    

It is this career-long held belief that Kitty and Julian like to see in their chefs whether temporary or permanent. Understanding when ingredients are at their best is a fundament for chefs going hand-in-hand with a good palette and the ability to season food.

There has been a good fit with Arc’s temporary chefs with Side Door with our Leigh’s Sticky Toffee Pudding making it onto the prep list. If you’re looking for a relaxed meal for you and the family or a quick bite to eat at just £5.00 then pop by the Side Door Bistro. If you’re lucky you might just get the last bite of Leigh’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.

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