Day in the Life: Jonathan Chierchia, owner of Decanter Winery and Dinery, Edinburgh

He also owns Frizzante Proseccheria on Lothian Road

Published 20th May 2022
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

8am

I wake-up at the same time as our English Bulldog, called Terror, then I look at memes for 30 minutes while trying to get myself out of bed.

8.30am

Breakfast consists of blueberries, mango, banana, pineapple, grapes, scrambled egg and cheese (the same thing I've eaten every morning for the last 15 years), then I’m out with the dog. I get washed and dressed faster than it takes a Ferrari to go from 0-60, with the longest part of this process being my anti-baldness routine, which doesn't work.

10am

Although sometimes the mornings are spent driving around getting supplies that haven’t been delivered, I’m straight to work at Decanter Winery and Dinery. I open up reservation emails, voicemails, and receive a wine delivery. Much of my time involves pow-wowing with wine suppliers, choosing our wines of the month and special wines available on request. Sometimes this also involves tasting, which I’m never against. Time is also spent with the kitchen team every day. Besides our great banter, we go through what has been selling well and what hasn’t, decide on specials for the upcoming week and find out if there are any changes they’d like to make.

12pm

Get myself ready for lunch service. We’re more of a dinner restaurant but we can get busy for lunch too, which usually means we don’t have enough staff and I’m running around. I enjoy it though, as I get to chat with the customers. We have an incredible community of locals in Bruntsfield, so it feels like having your friends in.

3pm

I divvy up the wine between Decanter and Frizzante, and take what is needed to Frizzante. My dad, Pasquale, runs Frizzante full time, so spending even a few minutes with him is a joy. We have an espresso and set the world right.

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4.30pm

I pop back up the road to Decanter for the night ahead. My dog walker drops Terror off back at the restaurant around this time. The world stops while we have a 15 minute chat as I ask him about his day. He never tells me. The chefs make me something to eat before service. In my perpetual quest to lose weight, my normal meal consists of chicken and veg, but I’m lucky enough that it’s made by one of our incredible chefs, so it’s not boring in any way.

5pm

Service starts and I peacock about the place in one of my many fine garments. I fill the gaps in the restaurant - be it bar, floor, kitchen or host. This is when we’re at our busiest, especially if our downstairs space is open. It’s a rush of cheques flying, food being made and cocktails and wine being served. I love to complain about a busy service, but I secretly love it. Once the day is done, I perform quality control on any form of liquid refreshments.

11pm

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I tiptoe into the house so as not to wake the wife, then eat cheese whilst watching something juvenile with the dog.

1.30am

Bed, and repeat the next day.

183 Bruntsfield Terrace, Edinburgh, www.decanterbruntsfield.co.uk

www.frizzanterestaurant.uk

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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