Bright Ideas: Recipe suggestions

ArticlesBright Ideas

Steve Martin
Camber Wines, Portsmouth


In a nutshell: A new website features recipes contributed by chefs who work for the company, which includes two restaurants and a wine shop, complete with wine pairings.

Tell us more.
“During lockdown we had the time and impetus to take Camber Wines online and update our existing website, which was 10 years old and very basic.

“We’ve got two restaurants: Abarbistro, which our wine shop is located above, and a seafood restaurant called The Briny, which is two miles down the road on Southsea seafront.

“I asked the chefs [Phillip Murell and Cameron Bradshaw] to give me a couple of recipes. We needed to do something that was different to what other wine merchants were doing and we felt that our expertise would be to put some recipes alongside some of the wines that we love.”


Chefs Phillip Murell and Cameron Bradshaw


Recipe ideas aren’t a new concept, but we like the way you’ve presented this.
“I asked our chefs to make the recipes as simple as possible but, chefs being chefs, there can be complications!

“A recipe a professional chef follows is likely to be different to what a home cook would expect, so we have tried to simplify them, but still retain the creativity.

“We wanted a mixture of small plates and some main dishes and a couple of desserts. I want to develop a few more recipes so there’s a constant flow of new stuff when customers are selecting wines.”



Food can be notoriously difficult to photograph well. Did you get professional photographers in?
“Because we started doing it in lockdown it was difficult for the chefs to come in and make the dishes for us to photograph. I sent the recipes to our designers and they sourced the photos from image libraries.It was much better than us getting our cameras out.”

What sort of feedback have you had?
“It’s quite hard to quantify. I mean we’ve had a few people who have mentioned that they’ve tried out a recipe with the recommended wine. We’ve had some feedback on Trustpilot but nothing too direct. It’s really a way for us to connect with potential wine buyers. We’re trying to capture the local community and get them to come to us by giving them a little extra.”

Has this been good for business?
“Yes. I think one of the things we struggle with from a retail perspective is that we are not on the high street. We can be hard to find if you don’t know where we are.

“We get a lot of footfall through both restaurants and with every bill there’s an invite to sign up to our website. By involving the chefs and showcasing their dishes online, alongside our fantastic wines, it’s a way to engage the customers across all the aspects of our business.”


Steve wins a WBC gift box containing some premium drinks and a box of chocolates.

Tell us about a bright idea that’s worked for you and you too could win a prize.


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