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About us

Cass Titcombe and Louise Chidgey founded Brassica Restaurant & Mercantile in Beaminster, West Dorset in September 2014.

Their aim was to combine their skills and extensive experience with the incredible variety and quality of produce on their doorstep, and to avoid the fads, concepts and trends which had begun to dominate the restaurant ‘scene’ at the time. Brassica presents the very best food, beautifully cooked, with pride but without pretension. In 2015 we added Brassica Mercantile, our food, wine & home store located next door in Beaminster square.  In 2023 we opened a further premises in Bridport - Brassica Forno, an Italian-inspired bakery and production kitchen for Brassica Handmade Meals.

Brassica Restaurant

Cass Titcombe

Chef Director

Cass has extensive experience in the restaurant business. During the late 1980s and early ’90s he worked in Hole In The Wall, Circus and Woods restaurants in Bath. Under David Price’s tutelage at Woods he learned the day-to-day business of running all aspects of a busy restaurant: managing the kitchen, the bar and the floor; creating and maintaining a happy staff, and – most importantly – cooking for a loyal (and contented) clientele.

In 1994 Cass moved to London and became sous-chef at the celebrated Daphne’s in South Kensington. Following this he opened two restaurants, The Collection and Pasha, for Mogens Tholstrup. Moving to Sussex in 2000 Cass was integral in the opening of The Real Eating Company, a delicatessen, bakery, café and restaurant that specialised in locally sourced food as well as imports from Italy and Spain. After this success he co-founded Canteen in 2005 and, with his two partners, won Best UK Restaurant/Observer Food Monthly Award in 2007. He is the author of Canteen: Great British Food and has consulted for large hospitality brands and restaurant groups. In 2014 he opened Brassica in West Dorset with his partner Louise Chidgey.

Louise Chidgey
Front of House/Director

Louise has more than thirty years’ experience in design retail with specific expertise in home, interiors and lifestyle. After working as a senior buyer for The Conran Shop she became manager/design manager for Tom Conran Restaurants (including The Cow Pub & Dining Rooms), Marks & Spencer and Selfridges. A brief stint living in Cornwall led to opening The Mill House Inn in 2000.  Since 2005 she has gained an international reputation first at global trend forecasting giant, as head of home design, and then at product development agency, as senior vice president in content and product design. Louise has also co-authored Paint & Paper: A Masterclass In Colour & Light.

Graham Chidgey
Wine Consultant

Graham Chidgey joined the London wine trade in 1953. He began his career in cellars treating and bottling Bordeaux, burgundy, port and sherry, all of which were at that time bottled in London by importing merchants. From London Graham moved to France where he worked in the cellars and vineyards of different wine-producing regions: Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

In 1965 Graham took over a small London merchant, Laytons Fine Wines, which he ran successfully until its sale in 1997. In its 32 years under his stewardship Laytons not only covered the classic French wines but made its own innovations such as introducing bordeaux sales ‘en primeur’ and domaine bottled burgundys; laying down vintage champagne for late degorgement, and bringing wines such as Brunello and Piedmont to a wider audience.

Following the sale of Laytons, Graham moved to Tuscany where he extended the sales potential for Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Piedmont. In 2014 he moved to West Dorset where he lives with his wife, the painter Angela Chidgey – and not too far from his daughter Louise.