Staff Profile: Daniel Mamby

Age: 28

Position: Second Chef at Portofino

Joined the restaurant:

Job history:
I started as a pizza chef and worked my way up the ladder over the years. I like the fact that I have made lots of great friends for life. We have a great working atmosphere.

Favourite dishes: I basically like everything we make at Portofino. Although I love our Peppercorn sauce my favourite dish has to be loin of lamb with mint-scented mash.
Favourite holiday: Cancun (Mexico) in 2013 where I met my Mexican girlfriend, Stephanie. 

Krimo says: Dan was promoted as second-chef when Chris Wilkinson moved to Casa del Mar in 2010. Since then, Dan has become Noel's right hand man, capably deputizing in his absence.
When he gets down to work, Dan is very often in a world of his own.
On a Mexican holiday, he met his Latina sweetheart, Stephanie.

Staff Profile: Shelley Balderson

Age: 30
Assistant-manager at Casa del Mar

Joined the restaurant: From the day it opened on 23rd January 2006

Initial job: I was initially trained to work as a barmaid then within a few weeks, I became bar manager. I then progressed to front of house.

Job history: Prior to Casa, I did the night shift at Asda. Adam, who often came to the supermarket after his evening at Krimo's, asked if I  would be interested in working at the Tapas Bar before it even opened.

What I like about working here:
I love the team I work with. We have a really good relationship and are all like friends rather than work colleagues. The customers make the job worthwhile. I have forged friendships with a few outside work.
I also met my partner of three years, Garry while at Casa and we are having our first baby together in the next few weeks.
And what would I do without Laura! She keeps me sane when working with Garry. Haha!

Favourite dishes: It has to be Pollo con Champinones (minus the mushrooms, Yuck!) Greek salad, meat paella, deep-fried brie and Chilli con Carne, just to name a few. I'm a growing girl and I like my food, hehe.

Favourite holiday: It was last year with Garry. We went to Bulgaria for a week. It was amazing. I miss the cocktails.

Krimo says: Apart from being my proof reader, Shelley is that person you want around you because she does not miss a thing.
She has been a great help since Day One, when Casa del Mar opened for the first time on the Marina.
She had a maternity break to have her son, Dan.
When she came back to work after her leave, she and Garry, our other assistant-manager became an item, and once again by the time you read this, she will be off on another maternity break, as the couple expect their first baby together within the next few weeks.
The staff love her even if, when it comes to work, she is quite strict. Outside work, she is the life and soul of the party.

Krimo's last couple of days...

These are photos of happy, lovely customers of Krimo's last two days.
(30th and 31st October 2014)
Krimo's served its last meal on 31st October 2014 after 29 ½ years.

Most of the people in the photos have been regulars for many of those years. 
The evening reminded me of New Year's Eves at Seaton. What an atmosphere!
Thank you all for a great time. 



Staff Profile: Laura Caygill.

Age: 23

Position: Manager at Casa Del Mar

Joined the Restaurant: January 2010

Initial Job: I was initially trained to work on the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Job History: When I was at college I worked in a fish and chips restaurant in Seaton Carew and the Staincliffe Hotel.

What I like about working here: I like getting to know the customers and having a chat with our regulars. I love working with Garry, Shelley and all of our boys and girls. We have a great team!!

Favourite Dishes: Chicken à la Crème and deep fried brie are my faves, but the Chicken à la Crème has to have no mushrooms, I'm very fussy!

Favourite Holiday: My first girls holiday to Magaluf when i was 18 was great and then the Domincan Repbulic last year.

Krimo says: Laura has a naturally sparkling personality and a great smile. She is great with customers, especially kids. She has gone from strength to strength since joining Casa del Mar nearly 5 years ago.
Her and Chris, our head-chef got engaged over a year ago.


The Final Countdown...

Krimo's countdown has started. We will cease trading on 31st October 2014.
Twenty nine and ½ years have flown by but I remember just about everything about those times. 
The first evening, 4th May 1985 when Karen, family and friends were still painting and decorating at 6.30pm when we had bookings for 7.30pm. 
I was in the kitchen putting the final touches to the food. 
The first guests began arriving. I showed Karen how to take an order from the first two tables then headed back to the kitchen to get on with the cooking. I did not raise my head until around 10.30pm. 
The entire family helped out. Alison was serving food. Her future husband, Dave pulled pints. Lisa and Leslie babysat Adam who was only 3 years old then. We fed and watered THIRTY PEOPLE. It had felt like the five thousand.

I counted our takings for that night. £347! This was more than the restaurant I had just left to open mine, took in an entire week! 
As I did for the next few months, once the kitchen was cleaned down, I drove the staff home in my rickety old Fiat.  
By the time I came back home, our flat above the restaurant, Karen was fast asleep on the settee, a glass of white barely touched still in her hand.
Half and hour later, one well-deserved glass of red down me, having wound down,I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. 

Then I wake up one day and nearly thirty years have gone. 
Alison and Dave got married at the restaurant at Seaton. Their first child, Evie (19) has worked at Krimo's since 2010. Alex (14) often loved helping slice carrots in the kitchen.

Lisa whose speciality in the early days was making desserts confessed that every night she had worked, she rewarded herself at the end of the shift with a huge banana split laced with Crème de Menthe.

Leslie joined the army to become a chef and married a chef, Jen at the new Krimo's on the Marina. He now runs his own successful cleaning business.

Adam first worked at Krimo's then McDonald, back to Krimo's, helped me open Casa del Mar, ran it for 3 years and then opened his own Flix Movie Café in Church Square.
He and Hayley, Krimo's manager for a few years, got married and the latest addition to the family, Isaac came along over two years ago.

And the rest is History.

Winding down...

As we wind down for the last few weeks at Krimo's, I have been drafted in to do some real work now that a few of our managers have left us for greener pastures. Zoe at Boots and Nicci at Seaton Carew Golf Club.

Beside attending a full time University course, looking after two daughters Rachael, (6 years at Krimo's) still finds time to come in to help run the bar and restaurant.
Granddaughter, Evie who has also found a job at Boots, is staying on until 31st October, our last day. She has become the person who looks after the details of running a restaurant from organising rotas to bossing me around.
The rest of the waiting skeleton staff, Amy Cowan, Laura Buckle, Megan Ross, Beth Greig, Rebecca Twist and Hannah Llewellyn have all astounded me by rising to the challenge of working short-staffed.
In the kitchen, Colin has also lost two young chefs and he and his team have also stepped up a gear.

As for me, apart from my dodgy left knee giving me a lot of bother by the end of the night and having to resort to wine to numb the pain, I am enjoying being back on board even if it is only for a few short weeks.
Whenever asked about Krimo's imminent closure, I try my best to explain the reason, quoting my advancing years, the end of the lease, etc... More often than not these "excuses" fall on deaf ears.
"Where are we going to go once Krimo's has gone?"
Portofino and Casa Del Mar draw varying responses. From the inability to climb stairs to being unfamiliar with Spanish tapas.

Those who have never been to our other two eateries reluctantly say:
"Ah, well we'll give them a try."

I am overwhelmed...

by the comments I have received since the announcement of Krimo's future.

Here a selection...

"Oh Krimo, this brought a little tear to my eye :(Good luck with what comes next, and hope Casa and Porto continue to thrive :) x"
"Sad news Krimo.... Let's hope whoever takes over will keep up the excellent reputation the restaurant has :)

"Good luck Krimo. Have a great future in whatever you decide to do."

"Sad news but wishing you both all the best for the future. Pleased we will still see you at Portofino and Tapas xx"

"Well deserved longevity and i hope that one day i can be a good waffler too :-) xx I hope i can visit there before December x....Don't be sad be proud x"

"Good luck on your new journey :))"

"Good luck... Enjoy your semi-retirement had excellent meals and enjoyed the atmosphere there celebrated my 50th and was made most welcome each time we visited..... I will certainly be having a meal before you go Krimo..."

"WOW my friend .... good luck in your future plans .... :)"

"Well done on all your achievements!! Amazing Restaurant! Amazing family business! Lovely family and fantastic employer! Will not be the same but I hope someone can carry on the success of Krimo's. thank you for employing me, twice! Thanks for all the lovely meals and lovely custom!! We wish you all the best, now you both deserve to rest :-) love Michael and Jeanette xx"

"My first ever job was at Krimo’s .. 4 and a half years and I have to say I loved every minute .. 
Met some of the best friends I ever had through Krimo’s and you and Karen and Adam were great bosses.
Much luck for the future Krimo and Karen and I hope whoever buys it will continue the good name x x 

"Wow - that is a shame Krimo Bouabda, but you must be so very proud. Steve and I will never forget your kind gesture in Portofino's, when we returned from our around-the-world trip. :) You have certainly earned a few nights off! We wish you the best of luck xx In the meantime, are you taking reservations for your closing night? I think Steve and I would like to be a part of it, regardless of when it is. We will of course, continue to support Casa del Mar and Portofino as we always have - but Krimo's takes some beating in the town xx",

"Good luck my friend. You will be missed"

"Such a shame Krimo, but you and Karen certainly deserve a sometime off. I remember my fist day at Krimo's in August 1999 like it was yesterday, that opportunity you gave me and skills and experience I gained really helped shape the person I am today and were invaluable in me becoming a Police Officer. Wishing you both lots of happiness x"

"Oh my goodness what a shame. My husband and I first visited your restaurant at Seaton Carew on one of our first dates many, many years ago and have been loyal customers ever since, celebrating many occasions with you over the years. Our daughter is your number one fan and we are so disappointed that you are putting the business up for sale. You and Karen deserve some years to chill and enjoy your retirement after many years serving the finest food to the people of Hartlepool. You will be sadly missed and I have just called and reserved a table for tomorrow night as we need to enjoy your fine food as many times as possible before you go!! Wishing you lots of luck and many happy retirement years xxx"

"You have worked hard and kept a good reputation in this town top man"

"Have liked this, but not to see you go. You have set a high standard to be maintained by anyone who takes over, Krimo."

"Can't believe it's actually going to happen, this place has been my family since I was seventeen so not only have I seen it change it's seen me change and grow as well !! Will be missed xx"

"Aw sad times but makes perfect sense for you. Lots of good times and celebrations spent at Krimo’s with Adam and our friends."

"Hi, Krimo sorry to hear you are closing Krimo’s my family and I have enjoyed your hospitality down the years from your beginnings at Seaton hope you enjoy your partial retirement hope to see you again soon."

"Best of luck Krimo. Being one of those many teenagers you have employed over the years I fully appreciate the amazing contribution you and karen have made to the Hartlepool community. Loved working at seaton, such good times and I wish you many more when you do eventually have a little rest. Xx"

"I remember my mam and Cliff and The Coliseum back in 85. You where a good chef then mate. You must have been a good waffler to to put up with Cliff. Good luck for the future mate."

"Sad day for Hartlepool but wish you & your family the very best for the future!"

"How sad. I remember the days when I used to wash and iron your tablecloths right back when you started in Seaton Carew x your family will be missed on the marina xx"

"Understandable. Enjoy your lighter workload and keep the match reports coming."

"Having delivered your fruit and veg for many years for my family before I emigrated down under I got to say I loved going to Krimo's either delivering or going for a meal, the staff have helped give make a happy relaxing atmosphere where some restaurants in town don't have"

"All the best Krimo! Was a great place to work, probably the best working environment I've worked in, met some cracking people including yourself, Adam , big Colin , Colin , Tracy, Madge, Lydia, Ben, Jimmy, Kevin, Christopher and loads more. Fantastic place to eat as well! Definitely the end of an era in the town!"

"Can't believe your going to lose the BRAND"

"Sad news! every good wish for the future with everything else. At least we all still get to see you around. So that's good news! Love to you, and all your family x"

"Carole would like you to wait closing till after June if you don't mind Krimo so when we come over to visit we can come down for a meal"

"A difficult decision no doubt Krimo. I totally understand that priorities in life change over time and wish you all the very best for the future and hope that you can take time for yourself to enjoy all that life has to offer you in the coming years. It was a pleasure working with you for those years at Tees Valley Maria. xx"

The End of An Era...

Krimo's present lease comes to an end in December and I have no intention of getting tied to another 10 or 15-year extension, having just turned 61.

I have decided to let go of the reins and allow others to carry on the good work that has been put into Krimo's by our faithful staff of many years, thousands of youngsters who earned a few quids while at college, Karen who was thrown in at the deep end on our opening night and me, a cowboy chef and head-waffler for the last 29 years.

Most of our regulars know the following lines by heart: 
"Krimo's Restaurant was opened on 4th May 1985 by Krimo and Karen Bouabda with a mere £250 and bucketfuls of enthusiasm."
Twenty nine years on Krimo's is now uniquely placed by the Marina lock gates to continue attracting customers from all over the region, the country and the world, as Hartlepool goes from strength to strength.

While I will soon let go of Krimo's, entrusting the place to whoever acquires the business, I shall continue to help run our other successful restaurants, Portofino and Casa del Mar with renewed enthusiasm.

I wish to thank Hartlepool for giving me, all those years ago, a chance to succeed and make a livelihood out of things I discovered I loved, such as cooking, serving people or simply waffling.
This is something I would never have been able to do without the support of the town's people, many of whom have become great friends and some of the most loyal staff an employer can wish to work with.

There are a few months left yet before I hand over the keys, so, for those who have never dined with us, please come and see why we have lasted so long at the forefront of Hartlepool's restaurant scene and for our loyal regulars, please understand that my staff and I will continue giving you nothing but the best until the last minute.

When eating out...

We asked you a few questions about eating out... 

Here are a few of your comments. 
*All restaurants should offer water with a meal, customers should be given a choice of tap or bottled to suit their preference. House wine should be highlighted for that evening similar to specials so it can be changed when needed.

*I think that all restaurants should offer free water, perhaps not calling it tap water lol 

*We often eat out and like to try different dishes, don't ask about low calorie as we go out to eat for either a special occasion or just a treat!

*Have visited Krimos quite a few times, the staff are always on hand to explain what a dish is and if they would recommend it, also they will recommend which wine to have with a certain dish.

*Wouldn't rate higher or lower on the tap water, as we go for the food.

*Always pleased with the service, the food and the atmosphere, thank you .    

*Fan of Portofinos always lovely.

*I always enjoy eating at krimos. The food is moderately spiced and flavoursome to suit my taste buds.               

*We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.

*My husband and I enjoy trying new dishes then I try to replicate them at home, sometimes with a slight alteration according to the ingredients I have to hand. I enjoy cooking and often create recipes, as I did tonight for our Shrove Tuesday pancakes. It is a treat when we eat out so I'm not particularly calorie counting. I prefer to live by the old adage that a little of what you fancy does you good.

*House wine is generally a sign of a good restaurant if it is good quality.

*Eating out is a rare treat, so when I do choose a restaurant I always go for the best quality I can afford, anything else is a bonus. 

*I rank good quality food, reasonable prices and ambience as important. Krimo's ticks all the boxes! A great restaurant!

*As a Coeliac I would like the menu to be clearly marked Gluten free where appropriate.

*I will try anything once.

*I love trying new foods but i also like my favourites too, like duck and lamb dishes both fantastic in krimos        

*I find if I am eating at a good restaurant the house wine is usually a good one.I have found this to be very true at Krimos and Portofinos.

*We rate restaurants by quality of food, not quantity.

Your Valentine's Day

We asked you how you celebrate Valentine's Day 

Thank you for sharing:

*Valentine’s Day is still a special day even when a couple have been together for a long time.It should always be celebrated.
*We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.
*Usually me and my boyfriend would celebrate Valentine’s day by booking a table at a well known restaurant.
*Just having a great meal with my wife at Krimo’s. Duck special was lovely.
*I have cooked a meal this year as my Husband was working late, we do enjoy eating out. This year we have been married 43 years and on March 10th we are celebrating our son's 40th Birthday and as you are closed on Mondays we have booked Krimo’s on 11th March for 13 of us including 5 of our Grand Children ranging from 8- 21 years old, we are all looking forward to our meals.
*We need a special day in the year to show our loved one just how much we do love them.
*Come on don’t be shy with that chicken liver pate get that stuff in and around my mouth ouffffff!!!
*My husband and I never celebrate Valentine's day because it's our anniversary on the 15th and also we don't need one day to tell how much we love each other, plus we have two young children and struggle for a babysitter except this year we are free on the night.
*We don’t need a special day to show we love each other – it’s every day.
*It is very important to do something with a loved one on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes we lead so busy lives we forget how much we love those most dear to us.    
*I'm not at home for Valentine’s Day I'm stuck in the North Sea on a oil rig away from my wife so I've booked a meal at Krimo’s for Saturday 22nd for us both for some nice food and drinks it's going to be a date night for us can't wait see you soon.
*Portofino's last week for surely the best starters and pasta in town...looking forward to next time.
*We have never been to a Krimo’s restaurant before and would love this chance to go :)            
*Krimo's always a good choice for a romantic occasion.
*I have put 'cook a meal' because we are with friends on this date. It has taken sooooo long to set a date when we can all be together (they live next door) and it is their turn to cook! We are supposed to be having an Italian night as we all went on holiday to Lake Garda last year and they promised to do this. Watch this space!!!
*Husband not that romantic so I will cook.
*Hubby works away so normally i have to wait to go for a meal when he gets home:-(

*Looking forward to any opportunity to mark and celebrate my relationship with the most wonderful man in the world :-)