Q&A with Anna Watts
Co-Founder of The Jones Family Project/The Jones Family Kitchen
1. Tell me a bit about where the Jones family name originated from
Duncan (my husband), Amit Josh and I (the co-founders) have all worked together for over 20 years now (Duncan and Amit close to 25 years.) Before we opened The Jones Family Project we were thinking about names and we realised how long we’d known each other and worked together. We feel that when you’ve worked together for a long time you become family. We decided that as we did not all have the same surname we should choose a different surname and we all liked the name Jones. It seems straightforward, solid and dependable.
2. After the success of the Jones Family Project, it is unsurprising that you have opened a second restaurant. What made you choose Eccleston Yards?
Duncan had been looking around for a while for the right place for our second adventure. When he heard about and saw Eccleston Yards it caught our imagination immediately. It’s not only a fabulous setting (now enhanced by an amazing piece of street art by Zabou) but we liked The Grosvenor Estate’s plans to make the Yards a home for independent and creative talent.
3. What makes Ginger Pig cuts of meat so special?
Steak can taste very different according to the breed of cattle it comes from and how it is reared. Our steak here at The Jones Family is from The Ginger Pig and this was a very deliberate choice. We believe that the naturally fed traditional Longhorn cattle they rear and the way they rear them produces steak that tastes fantastic on the plate.
When farmers used cows to pull their ploughs, Longhorns were popular and useful as they were easy to handle, hardy and strong. Sadly, they fell off favour with the advent of machines and more intensive farming methods and by the late 1970s there were less than 500 registered breeding English Longhorn cows. Happily, this trend has now been reversed with more and more people realising that the hardiness of this wonderful breed is ideal for converting grass into meat and their strength (now not needed to pull a plough apart from for show!) creates beautiful intra muscular marbling leading to flavoursome steak. Unlike other breeds which lay down too much external fat before the formation of intramuscular fat Longhorns produce large fillets, sirloins, rumps and shoulders that naturally have good marbling throughout which gives excellent succulence, tenderness and flavour.
It’s not just genetics and good handling that makes a great steak on the plate. We deliberately chose a Josper grill for its ability to caramelise our steak due to the extremely high temperatures it reaches (more than 500 degrees C) It’s a simple but well-built piece of equipment that produces amazing results when paired with fantastic quality ingredients and a skilful Josper chef.
4. How would you sum up the Jones Family Kitchen in three words?
Friendly, Relaxed, Fun
5. What does the future hold for the brand?
At the moment we’ve plenty to do with two sites but you never know….if the right site comes up we’ll be raring to go.
A preview of the awesome steak at both restaurants: