#RestaurantWeek: Stevie Parle at the Dock Kitchen

By Gordon Macmillan

Stevie Parle is the youngest chef the River Café ever employed and went on to publish several books and run the @TheDockKitchen in west London and @Rotorino in the east.

Like the cool and relaxed vibe of the @TheDockKitchen, which overlooks the Grand Union Canal, Parle is a fan of the informal conversational nature of Twitter. As part of #RestaurantWeek, we spoke to him about this and how he uses the platform as a chef and a writer.

“Sometimes I’ll get people tweeting, saying ‘hey I made this, it didn’t quite work out, what was wrong with it?’. That’s really interesting because then I can engage and find out what happened and I can make my recipes of a better quality. But also people tweet pictures of stuff they’ve cooked and for me that’s so satisfying and enjoyable,” he says.

@StevieParle who of @TheDockKitchen on how he uses Twitter as a chef and writer

That direct communication, and lack of formality is one of the things that he’s found really attractive as a chef.

That easy conversation is really important.

@StevieParle@thedockkitchen and @rotorino

“Just being able to have people tweeting saying ‘I love this’ and ’ I didn’t like this so much’, whatever it is, just that easy conversation is really important,” he says.

Stevie Parle’s top tips for using Twitter

A huge part of that conversation is, of course, the food and that’s one of his top tips for others restaurants. You’ve got to, he says, have good pictures.

“If you’re going to tweet a photograph — you’re putting something about your restaurant, that you really care about, out into the world — make sure it looks nice,” he says.

Working uniquely well

Beyond the food, Twitter has proved important to helping Parle and his business partner Jonathan Downey (@DowneyJD) promote their new Italian venture @Rotorino, which launched with little traditional promotion.

Jonathan Downey has been working really hard on Twitter and doing an amazing job at slowly building buzz, just giving small snip bits of information…with very little pre-opening traditional press just a lot of Twitter,” says Parle.

Watch our interview with Stevie Parle