I quickly became addicted to serving people. There’s no other industry that allows you to host a party every night, with an awesome curated list of booze, music and expertly-cooked food.
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Wine is a very approachable subject and easy to learn about.
Coffee or tea?
How do you let off steam?
Long bike rides.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your own)?
I really enjoy Quality Wines in Farringdon: Nick and the team have really nailed the vibe.
What motivates you?
Seeing happy guests return time and again.
What keeps you up at night?
Generally admin, the boring bits that tend to get ignored and pile up.
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
There’s been a few over the years but Ashley Palmer Watts from the Fat Duck Group for sure had an inspiring attitude towards work.
What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Working a busy lunch service.
Worst business decision?
Not opening on Wednesdays in August to welcome the droves of people looking for a cheap dinner.
Best business decision?
Transforming our restaurant into Shop Cuvée at the start of lockdown and setting up the wine subscription service has allowed us to to not only survive the pandemic, but to thrive long after.
Favourite holiday destination?
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Just work hard, be humble, and concentrate on yourself and personal development rather than the general politics of the workplace. If you feel you’re not gaining anything from a role, move on, even if it is paying well.
If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
A more efficient supply chain that helps promote local, seasonal produce in cities.
Having left school at 16 to start an apprenticeship with Whitbread Studied TV & Film Production in Manchester, Meah began working in hospitality as bar manager at The Liars Club, before upping sticks and moving to Melbourne, Australia. There he first worked as a front of house manager at The Beaufort Melbourne, before going on to become assistant restaurant manager at Dinner by Heston’s Melbourne outpost. In January 2019 he opened Top Cuvée in London’s Highbury with Mancunian bartending brothers Max and Noel Venning.