Located in Manchester’s Escape to Freight Island, a 2,000-capacity urban market close to Manchester Piccadilly, the site offers a tight menu of kebabs made using meat from the same suppliers Carter uses at his Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant.
The One Star Döner Bar concept was born during lockdown when the largely self-taught chef switched from selling recipe boxes to kebabs made using his house-made mortadella.
“I’d always wanted to do great kebabs. My first Gemüse Kebab in Birmingham many years ago is a food memory that’s always stuck with me, it remains one of the best dishes I’ve eaten,” he says.
“The first time we did the Mortadöner kebabs we sold out of our 250 portions in five minutes. At that point I knew it would be a concept that would eventually have its own site.”
Carter says he went down the franchise route because he did not want the kebabs to impact his work at his Jewellery Quarter restaurant, which he runs with his partner Holly Jackson.
The new site is being spearheaded by Dan Morris, who operates venues including Manchester’s Wolf At The Door and was formerly operations director at Cottonopolis.
The franchise deal sees the Manchester site’s team given access to Carter’s recipes and development expertise.
“For the last few month I’ve been with them on Mondays and Tuesdays when the restaurant is closed," Carter continues. "Unlike some food franchises, it’s not idiot-proof. Everything is made from scratch and the kebabs themselves are made by butchering down whole animals, so we need proper chefs. I have the final say on everything in terms of the taste."
As part of the deal, franchisees will also get a number of appearances from Carter and other guests chefs, who will create limited edition kebabs.
Served on Turkish pide bread, there are three core kebabs: Tamworth mortadella, Cornish lamb and Cotswold White Chicken. The kebabs cost £12 each and come with a side of ‘techno slaw’ (a luminous collslaw made with salad cream, soy sauce and tumeric) and a Turkish pepper.
Brad’s signature potato smileys - a reference to his raving days - are available as a side with a number of sauces that also nod to dance music, including Acid House and a fermented pineapple sauce called Jungle.
While food markets such as Escape to Freight Island are well-suited to the concept, Carter also believes One Star Döner Bar would work as a standalone restaurant or takeaway site.
“I’d love to see one on London and Birmingham soon. But it needs to be in the right location.”
Carter is one of a number of chefs to seek to elevate a dish that - in this country, at least - is more associated with questionable meat-sourcing practices and messy nights out than high quality food.
Other practitioners include the trio behind Le Bab, Maison Bab and kebab-tasting menu concept Kebab Queen, and Brighton-based chefs Dan Kenny and Luka Dmitryi, who also launched a creative kebab takeaway service during lockdown.