Up close and personal with Gianluca Austin-Rizzo, the General Manger at the Michelin-starred Simpsons in Edgbaston and shortlisted finalist for the GQ magazines Best Front of House award
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am general manager at Simpsons Restaurant, Edgbaston. Simpsons was one of the first restaurants to be awarded a Michelin star in Birmingham, 19 years ago. We are known for providing outstanding food and service in a more informal and relaxed dining experience. I am in the Midlands due to love bringing me here and I have made this home with my wife Laura, who was born and raised in Malvern.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I commute every day by train from Great Malvern to Five Ways and take a 15-minute walk to Simpsons. Most nights I manage to get the last train home. When that’s not possible I call Falcon & Crown, a local Birmingham taxi company, who kindly drive me home at anytime of the day or night – they really look after me, especially Mr Abid.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
The commute is the time I dedicate to myself and either use it to prepare for the day ahead or to relax after a long day at work before getting home.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
It definitely is! It’s a lively, buzzing city. If you live in the Midlands then Birmingham is THE place to work. It has changed lot in just the last 10 years and with the amount of investment going into the city it’s getting better and better all the time too! Many new businesses are finding that Birmingham is the place to be!
There are not many of those! When I do have time to treat myself to a break in the working day I like to go to Laghi’s, a small Italian deli with true Italian flavours.
Well of course, usually I like to eat and entertain clients or customers here at Simpsons but if I feel like something different and escaping the work environment I would go to Pure Bar in Waterloo Street for one of their perfect burgers and a cold beer.
During a busy day, to take five minutes to chill out, I quite often will sit in the gardens of Simpsons near the fountain… the relaxing sound of the water really does the trick. You wouldn’t know you are really in a city centre! I am still exploring Brum so any suggestions of where I should go, let me know!
Considering I have a long journey back home after each shift it doesn’t happen every day, but when the chance is there I like to visit our neighbours at either the Edgbaston Hotel or the Highfield.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
A lot of improvements are taking place in Birmingham at the moment so we just need to wait, be patient and see how things take shape…