A few years ago, a copy of the Stylist was thrust in to my hand as I made my way to work.
I browsed it while inhaling some breakfast at my desk, and paused at just one article buried in the middle – how today’s woman has an average of three career changes in her lifetime, and the first one comes age 33. It struck a chord with me and I stuffed it in a drawer, before racing off to a meeting.
During tough days in the office I remembered the article at the back of that drawer. About women in all walks of life sacking off their professions to pursue something else, something more meaningful to them. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved being a planner, but it wasn’t without its hard times, its long hours, its politics, its pressures. I plugged on and said quietly to myself ‘maybe one day’.
It wasn’t until I was heading back to work after maternity leave and contemplating all that it meant that I started to seriously think about that article I’d read. What if there was another path I could take? Something new I could try.
I’m not sure how I came up with the idea for Curveball, my little restaurant in Balham. Fuelled by my love for food and career in the creative industry, my brain must have been percolating in the background only to gift it to me as an idea, something I often relied on it to do when I was Hannah the Planner.
It turns out the restaurant business and the advertising scene aren’t so different. The hours are long, creativity the fuel, an eye on the competition an obsession, forward thinking a must. But, unlike jobs I’ve had before, I get to define the goal, to set the pace, to create the culture, to choose the team and the rewards. And while the fruits of this at the moment are nil in my bank account (actually, there’re a minus) they’re still pretty sweet.
So, what is this Curveball restaurant all about? Well, just like the dishes I’m known for on my website, the menu is full of bold flavours from all over the place. Like a Korean beef brisket taco with chipotle mayo and housemade kimchi, free range chicken yakitori cooked over coals and finished with shaved bonito, and crispy fried chicken balls covered in Frank’s hot butter sauce and gorgonzola, to name but a few. We like to have fun with our food and we’re inspired by our travels here, there and everywhere.
If you like the tasting plates style of eating, are amused by silly dish names and enjoy a tipple or two, you’ll find us on Hildreth Street in Balham, just two minutes from the tube. Whisper ‘the kitchen alchemist’ to us and we'll drop you a gift at your table, side orders of that Stylist article also available on special request.