By Brittany Tiplady
Moral Gluttony opened June 2016 and has been serving satisfied customers from near and far ever since. Chef and owner Andrew Granger-Brown has curated the perfect “hole in the wall” spot; the kind of place that serves up delicious, nostalgic, comfort food, with ingredients that are lovingly made in-house. Granger-Brown’s trajectory to entrepreneurship was paved by the unique path his parents forged; his family ran one of the first-ever stores in Langley to carry exotic spices and homemade products. Today, Moral Gluttony proudly operates in the same location.
We sat down with Andrew Granger-Brown to learn more about his background as a chef, and the mouth-watering, soul-nourishing, Moral Gluttony grub that customers just can’t stop raving about.
When did your love of cooking begin?
Andrew: My parents were both immigrants, my dad is from East Africa and my mom is from England. In some ways, they were pioneers. They started a business that focused on specialty foods, and they introduced people here to paprika, and cuimin, and saffron, things like that.
I remember being five years old, old running around the kitchen and taking an interest and then our parents pushed us to start learning how to cook and sharing the responsibilities. By the time that I was 10, I was cooking dinner once a week for my family.
While I was in high school, I took my first restaurant job, and that was pretty much it. I got hooked into the industry. I started working my way up, gaining more knowledge, learning recipes and cooking times and basically gave them no option but to put me on the line because I want to start cooking.
After that, you worked in restaurants and resorts around the country?
Andrew: I decided to travel and go on an adventure. I worked at a resort in Banff called Sunshine Village. I made friends there, and eventually packed my bags and guitar and went to Montreal. I got myself a job in a French kitchen; a big benefit for me is that I’m fluent in French. So, I was able to get into these kitchens and learn how to execute a busy fine dining service all in French. I spent quite a bit of time in Montreal cooking there and ended up in some pretty amazing places and then after that and decided it was time to time to go home.
What eventually led you to setting down roots and starting your own business?
Andrew: I went back to Vancouver after a few years on the road on the road and I worked as a bartender in the city for a while so that I could gain front of house experience as well. I had a bit of pressure put on me, that if I wanted to continue this cooking thing I need to go into a culinary arts program and become certified. So, I went to Vancouver Community College’s Culinary Arts program, and I have to say: it’s a really a phenomenal program and I learned a lot.
When did Moral Gluttony happen?
I became a dad and so we moved back to Langley and started our family. One day out of the blue, my dad called to tell me that a commercial building had a [spot available, due to another restaurant closing down]. My dad asked me ‘do you want to make something of out your experience and open a restaurant?’ And I don’t even think I even hesitated. I thought ‘why not? Let’s open a restaurant.’
It was a total like cowboy move but I built myself a restaurant. I bought lumber from the store and I built all of my counters, I bought second-hand equipment fixed it up installed it, we spent hours painting and re-doing and cleaning and basically rebuilt this little restaurant into a clean nice new little set up. And then I wrote a menu, my wife and I came up with a name. And then one day quietly, I just put a little sandwich board outside, and we were open. I didn’t even have a sign above the door.
And three years have since gone by.
Amazing! Can you tell me more about the food at Moral Gluttony?
Andrew: The kind of cooking that I do, is kind of cooking our parents used to do. Almost everything is made in-house and by hand. And the cool thing, is that we became a destination. People are traveling to try our hollandaise, our breakfast sandwiches, our soups or our grilled cheese.
You’re not going to get a meal that’s rushed when you’re here. Our quality of food has remained the same when we opened three years ago. If you’re going to give me your hard-earned money, I’m obligated to justify that by giving you something worth it.
Where can we learn more about Moral Gluttony?
We do use our Facebook page, but we don’t do a lot of other advertising. I really do believe in the power of word-of-mouth.
Moral Gluttony is located at 20771 Langley Bypass, Langley City, 30 minutes from the Peace Arch border crossing.
Find out more at www.moralgluttony.ca