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Gordon Ramsay names Casamia in Bristol best restaurant

Peter (l) and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias
Peter (l) and Jonray are the youngest Michelin-starred chefs in the country

A Bristol restaurant has been named the best in the country in a national competition run by top chef Gordon Ramsay.

Michelin-starred Casamia in Westbury on Trym was one of more than 12,000 independent establishments to enter the Channel 4 programme, Ramsay's Best Restaurant.

The competition took place over nine weeks and all restaurants were nominated by the public.

And on Tuesday, 9 November, it was announced during a televised grand final that Casamia's head chefs - and brothers - Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias had picked up the top prize.

BBC Points West meets Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias

In the final, they beat a restaurant from Bradford called Prashad, a family-run cafe specialising in vegetarian Gujurati street food.

The brothers have known the result for a couple of months, and admit that it was tricky to keep their success a secret.

"So many people have come up to us and asked how we've been getting on with the show, so it's been really difficult," said Jonray.

Jonray, 26 and Peter, 24 are the youngest Michelin-starred chefs in the country and wowed Ramsay with their experimental Italian food.

And the brothers loved having the chance to work with chef Gordon Ramsay.

"He's got a massive presence about him, there's no shadow of a doubt," said Peter.

"But when you actually meet him you realise he's actually a great guy. Really down to earth and really polite".

Jonray added: "I think a lot of people get him wrong.

"The way he approached us, you know, two young guys doing a totally different spectrum of food to what he's doing and running a kitchen differently, he absolutely opened up to us and it was great.

"Me and Pete are self-taught - we've never worked with another head chef before, so to have him as a mentor was fantastic."

'Massive risk'

Casamia was opened by Jonray and Peter's parents - Paco and Susan - in 1999, and after running their own restaurant in Cheltenham, the brothers took over Casamia in 2006.

Paco and Susan pumped their entire life savings into the restaurant and the boys admit "that was a massive risk".

"I think we're a bit crazy almost," laughed Peter.

Jonray added: "We've played with our lives, our parents' lives and everyone's put a lot of trust in me and Pete.

"It's been difficult.

Paco (l), Peter, Jonray and Susan Sanchez-Iglesias from Bristol restaurant, Casamia
Paco (l) and Susan (r) put retirement on hold to support their sons

"A lot of people have looked at what we're doing and thought, 'these guys are not in Mayfair, they're not in Chelsea, or even Clifton - they're in Westbury on Trym'.

"But I think if you're going to do something and you want to do it well, you should be able to do it anywhere".

And the duo have high hopes for the future.

"We've got lots of plans and ideas," said Jonray.

"With this the financial side of it is going to help us a lot, to be able to do more things.

"Me and Pete have been planning stuff for the last five years and [know where we want to] see ourselves in 10 years.

"The next big thing's a book which is hopefully going to be released in the spring, and hopefully a development kitchen as well."

The chefs also hope to set up a "spinning sensory room" - inspired by the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - in the future.




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