Unfiltered: Nick Crispini, Flour & Grape

Nick Crispini is the owner, chef and wine buyer for London newcomer Flour & Grape, and Italian restaurant that opened this year with a particular focus on wine.  Described as the “antithesis of a chain Italian” by Wine List Confidential, Flour & Grape offers Italian vinos in the “now stripped back, but not minimalist, cosily-darkened site” formerly known as Antico, near Bermondsey Antique Market. Crispini was born into a restaurateur family, and with an Italian father, was well versed in the world of hospitality. However it wasn’t until after he began a career as a web developer that he stepped into the world of restaurants. Having embarked on a career as a chef, Crispini worked under Theo Randall at park Lane, before founding the Antico Restaurant & Bar in 2012 – a site that is now home to Flour & Grape.

What’s your go-to drink at the end of a long day?
Generally a refreshing beer, then wine later.

What’s your most embarrassing front-of-house moment?
When I greeted a customer by a kiss on cheek thinking it someone else. It was awkward and still makes me blush thinking about it.

If you could give your younger self advice when starting out as a somm what would it be?
Try to understand what the customer is really looking for rather pushing ones personal preferences.

Has a wine every given you an epiphany? Which one?
I can’t say one has.

Which customer habit annoys you the most?
Choosing the second on list because it’s not the first, you can always tell.

Who is your inspiration in the gastronomic world?
My parents, I grew up in their restaurants but they’ve inspired of not what to do as much as what to do.

What’s your ultimate food and wine pairing?
Truffle and Barolo.

Where would your fantasy vineyard be?
Piedmont, I love the region.

Which wine (grape/style) do you find it impossible to get along with?
I’ve never taken to Malbec and I’m not a fan of orange wines.

Who is the most memorable customer you’ve ever served?
Elton John, but not in my restaurant.

What else would you like to achieve in your life?
More Flour & Grapes.

What would be your desert Island wine?
I good Barolo but it may a challenge in the heat.

What is your life motto?
Don’t regret not doing something, so do it.

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