A COUPLE of seasoned restaurateurs are embarking on a new business venture with a bit of a twist.

The former owners of popular vegetarian venue Food For Friends in The Lanes area of Brighton are now turning their hand to a different kind of dining.

Jane and Ramin Mostowfi’s latest venture will see them open Kindling, a sustainable restaurant in East Street, Brighton, in late September.

The centrepiece of this will be an open kitchen with a wood fire, which Ramin says will give the food a “unique flavour”.

He said: “It will create a great flavour profile as well as that cosiness and warmth which a fire can bring.

“It will also bring the smell of the food to the restaurant. Cooking on a live fire gives food a specific flavour which we want across the whole menu.”

The husband and wife team said “being kind will be at the core of every creation” as they work under the mantra of “good food, done well”.

Jane said the food will be mostly vegetarian but some meat sourced from Sussex will be used to complement this.

She said: “About 70 per cent of our planned dishes are plant-based, then we will also use ethical meat from local farms with the same values of sustainability as us.

“You are never going to make everyone vegetarian overnight, but you can do your bit for the environment.

“We know our customers are eating less and less meat and so we want to know where any meat we do use came from and how the animal is treated.

“We will also take what local fishermen have got rather than making an order.”

Jane said the restaurant would implement a “nose to tail” approach to any meat products, using the whole animal.

She said: “We are going back to traditional cooking methods and we plan our whole menu out.

“One of the most important things to us is seasonality.

“For example in winter we will use a lot of fermented plums and elderberry because that has been in season.”

Having enjoyed more than 15 successful years at the helm of Food For Friends, Ramin revealed the secret behind their success in the food industry. He said: “I think it’s about creating that whole experience from start to finish.

“It’s everything, from the moment you make a booking to how you are treated at the door.

“The quality of the food, the smell, the ambience, the knowledge of the staff, the culture of the restaurant and the value of the meal – and there is a difference between value and being cheap.

“It’s just about putting all of these layers together and we want to make this a 360 degree experience.”

Jane said they aimed to “make each customer a regular” and said each item on the menu would have a story behind it.

She said: “Our front-of-house staff are extremely knowledgeable and will be able to educate customers about each item we use. Hospitality can get a bad name in Brighton. It can be seen as a transient job in between full-time employment.

“But we have taken a year to find people who are really passionate about the industry and love their food.

“Most of us have had some sort of nutritional training so we will also make food which is better for you.”

The 46 cover restaurant, which is next to Toni and Guy hairdressers, will be open for lunch and dinner between Tuesday and Sunday, and will launch in late September.