Secrets behind #1 Gastropubs success

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Hard work and passion: Stosie Madi (pictured) shares secret to gastropub success
Hard work and passion: Stosie Madi (pictured) shares secret to gastropub success

Related tags Top 50 gastropubs Stosie Madi Chefs Food

Aspiring chefs need to cook for themselves and never for their ego, according to chef-patron of the 2023 number one Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Stosie Madi.

Madi, who opened the Parkers Arms​ in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire in 2007, stated chefs climbing the ladder of success should focus on cooking what they like, not for a “pat on the back” but for “bums on seats and paying customers”.

She said: “If you can get people to come and pay for what you do, then everything is possible.

“People have such a massive choice when going out and young chefs today are so intent on trying to work so hard to please discerning, trendy customers to look really super smart and intelligent when cooking.”

Hard work 

Madi continued while these things were important, it is “fundamentally” more important to focus on building confidence and a reliable reputation by shouting about your work and learning to cook well in a kitchen with someone who “really knows how to cook and how to run a business to show you the way”.

She added: “I opened the Parkers Arms when I was in my mid-30s, most chefs [by that time] have already established a sound following with colleagues they can look for to help them. We basically came and started from scratch.

“I knew I had to work really hard to get heard and the way to get people to know what we were doing was to shout about it.

“When we opened, we'd have some pretty desolate nights with no one in because we're in the middle of nowhere, but whatever I was cooking or doing, I spent time videoing it, picturing it, talking about it on social media, telling and showing people what we were doing. That's how it all started.”

Passion and sacrifice 

Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and being inspired by what you do was also key for Madi, who’s biggest inspirations come from her mother and travelling.

Though the patron also warned becoming a successful chef requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice and passion.

She said: “I sacrificed a lot in my life, but that was my choice, because I chose to do this because I love what I do. If you don't love what you do, you can't sacrifice so you'll never succeed. You've got to really want it.

“The industry is now coming to a stage where you probably don't have to sacrifice so much because everybody is now aware people need that balance between downtime and work, somehow we'll reach that, but like everything in life, success only comes with very hard work and focus.”

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