By Kristy Dorsey

Glasgow chef Nico Simeone is launching a new food and drink platform that will be a permanent extension of the Home by Nico service introduced in April in response to lockdown restrictions.

HOME-X goes live for registrations today and will begin deliveries on November 16 throughout the UK of six at-home experiences including Home by Nico, which replicates the tasting menu that Mr Simeone’s Six by Nico restaurants are known for. Other brands on the platform will be the STEM wine club, Chateau-X, The Cheese Club, vegan offering 24-Carrot and E-Eatery, a collaboration with some of the UK’s top independent restaurants.

HOME-X is owned by Mr Simeone and fellow director Michael Sim, a marketing specialist and friend of the chef from his time at school in Glasgow. Mr Sim has led the digital marketing strategy for the Six by Nico brand since the first restaurant opened in 2017.

Home by Nico served more than 100,000 customers across six UK cities during lockdown, but was paused when restrictions were loosened in June as the team focused on re-opening the Six by Nico restaurants. The delivery service resumed in central Scotland on October 9 when that part of the country came under enhanced restrictions due to expire on Monday.

The launch of HOME-X will create more than 50 new jobs at a time when the hospitality industry is reeling from stop-start measures intended to control the spread of coronavirus. A new 7,000sq ft facility at Anniesland Industrial Estate will create at least 30 permanent positions across the kitchens and distribution side of the business, with a further 20 or so employed on the digital team working out of the head office in Glasgow’s Miller Street.

Mr Simeone said the concept for HOME-X was shaped by “listening to what people were saying” during lockdown.

“When we were forced to close the Six by Nico restaurants across the UK, we gave fans of the brand a chance to make our signature tasting menu at home and the feedback was phenomenal,” he said. “We packed and distributed over 100,000 meals across sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, London and Belfast, but we felt there was so much scope to service the rest of the UK, and to give our customers even more dining options at home.

“The HOME-X experiences give customers the opportunity to dine in or stay at home while still enjoying the same top-quality culinary experience, but now with even more choice.”

Like Home by Nico, kits across all the HOME-X brands will include pre-prepared portions and full cooking instructions to create a meal for two to four people. Each will be refreshed on a monthly basis.

In the case of E.Eatery, this will be in collaboration with a variety of other independent restaurants. HOME-X is aiming to introduce 20 new food and drink experiences within this brand within the first three months of trading.

Mr Sim said: “We worked together to create the new HOME-X platform, and with it a number of food and drink brands that showcase some of the best at-home experiences in the UK.

“Our new business opens up the whole of the UK as a customer, with six new brands initially listed on HOME-X, each offering various dine-in experiences to choose from.”

Chateau-X will deliver seasoned cuts of chateaubriand fillet along with three sides, while 24-Carrot will serve up vegan tasting dishes made for sharing.

The new wine club, STEM, will offer a bespoke collection personally curated by Rachael Rafferty, Six by Nico’s chief operating officer. The Cheese Club will deliver five artisan cheeses paired with homemade chutney and relishes curated alongside cheesemongers IJ Melis.