Chef proprietor at Crab House
Nigel’s interest in food and particularly seafood, started in his early childhood. His grandmother was the cook at the Charlton Park Estate and Nigel has vivid memories of watching her cook, using all the wonderful fresh produce that has served as an inspiration throughout his career.
From an early age Nigel began training as a chef at South Devon College. From there Nigel worked in a number of big hotels and restaurants not only local to Torbay but in London too.
Returning home and working for a fish supplier in Brixham Fish Market was when his career path was decided. Being a chef himself, Nigel was good with the restaurants and buyers, knowing what they wanted and needed. When the business came up for sale, Nigel bought it. As the market became more competitive with time, Nigel saw other opportunities emerging. Lots of different fish and seafood were often left rotting on the quayside, unwanted by buyers – Nigel looked into this and soon learnt how the Italians turned it into a delicacy by marinating it. Eventually Nigel set up a business solely trading in this, he won national and international orders and the business went from strength to strength.
Once the business was stable, Nigel was looking for a new and exciting challenge. He set up a busy and popular fish and seafood restaurant in Torquay and once successful sold this restaurant to concentrate on his marinating business. However, his passion for restauranteering had been born and after a number of years an opportunity came available to buy an oyster farm and adjoining shack café that he could not refuse. After a huge refurbishment of both the farm and shack style eatery, The Crab House Café was born. This has been Nigel’s sole focus now for many years, with great success. His cookery book was released last year and has been highly celebrated. Since then Nigel has not stopped and he has now opened a bar and diner, named Billy Winter’s, which is he is currently developing alongside his work at the Crab House.