Episode 30 Hugo Hardman and
Arthur Voelcker – Chalkstream

In this episode we’re going to learn about farmed fish. When Hugo Hardman and Arthur Voelcker launched ChalkStream® in 2015, people tended to dismiss farmed trout as small, bony and muddy; salmon’s much poorer cousin.   

That’s why, in the early days, they had to get right in front of chefs, and show them what farmed trout could really become – if it was grown in fast-flowing clear waters that mimic the conditions of the fish’s natural habitat: the Test and Itchen chalk stream rivers in Hampshire.   

As you’ll hear, their so-called ‘power point presentation’ of a framed photograph and a large glistening trout on ice, worked wonders.  Now ChalkStream clients include big names such as P&O Ferries, British Airways and Wimbledon, as well as top restaurants all over the UK… and the trout farmers Hugo and Arthur work with face a much more secure future. 

Discover how, in the space of a few years, this partnership has managed to shake up trout farming in an impressively sustainable way.   

https://www.chalkstreamfoods.co.uk

Episode 29 James Golding
The Pig restaurants with rooms

James Golding’s impressive chef career has come full circle. Yes, he’s worked with some very big names in London and New York. He learned his craft under Anton Edelmann at The Savoy and then moved to Le Caprice, working for Mark Hix. And as Head Chef at Soho House in New York, his team cooked for A list actors, music stars and royalty.  

But he began his culinary journey in and around the New Forest, foraging for mushrooms with his dad, and getting ‘bored out of his mind’ at Mr Bartlett’s, the butchers, when his parents were having nice chats about cuts of meat.  Fast forward around 20 years and James is back in his childhood stomping ground of Hampshire and Dorset.  

And as Group Chef Director of THE PIG, he makes sure that all the restaurants source their ingredients either from their own kitchen gardens or from producers within a 25 mile radius.  That includes beautiful cuts of meat, which James turns into British charcuterie with – wait for it – Mr Bartlett’s son!   

Passion has definitely replaced boyhood boredom, as you’ll hear…

Episode 28 Simon Tolson
Rumsey Holiday Homes

Simon Tolson has had his fair share of highs and lows to get to where he is now in hospitality.  

An early high point was his first paid day as a fisherman. Since the age of 3 he’d wanted to fish and he felt like an astronaut when he stepped onto the deck…. But several years later, now married and with a mortgage, he had to switch careers.  He left the sea for a surprisingly different job – selling printers and photocopiers for Pitney Bowes. 

That led to a new high, because the sales skills Simon developed not only worked for office equipment.  They came in handy when he turned his attention to holiday homes. It was the early noughties, and there were generous tax breaks if you were renovating a property as a holiday let. Simon and a colleague began to build a new business, offering holiday homes as  promising investments. 

So far, so good.  But then in 2007, everything changed…. 

In this programme you’ll hear how Simon worked his way out of the prolonged low that followed… And how, despite challenging odds, he’s now the proud owner of Rumsey Holiday Homes, with beautiful views of the sea and the occasional chance to fish 

Episode 27 Mark Hix
Hix Restaurants

If you decided to open a restaurant that focussed on oysters and meat- on-the bone, you probably wouldn’t have done it in 2008.  First there was the financial crisis and credit crunch. Then there was a lingering memory of the meat-on-the-bone ban, triggered by BSE several decades before.  

Mark Hix’s decision was perhaps all the more surprising because the job he was leaving – Executive Head Chef of Le Caprice restaurant group, which included famous venues like The Ivy and J Sheekey – was the sort of plum role other chefs would give their eye teeth for.    

But it turned out very well in the end: his ‘HIX Oyster and Chop House’ marked the start of an award-winning family of HIX restaurants, in London and in Dorset…and put Mark in the forefront of the modern British food movement, celebrating farmers, food producers and fisherman in his menus and in his annual Food Rocks Festival in Lyme Regis.  

Discover how it all happened for a boy who was more interested in golf than food…and then discovered he was rather good at cooking after all… 

Episode 26 Pete Joy
Bakehouse 24

For someone who had no business plan, but thought he’d be alright because there was a Waitrose round the corner, Pete Joy, at Bakehouse 24 is doing pretty well.

Pete’s love of mixing and kneading emerged out of the blue, one night, when his housemates were at band practice. Having the place to himself, he decided not to do a normal thing like ordering Chinese, but to make a cake instead. This wasn’t a one-off: Pete soon developed a serious baking habit, which led to a 3am-to-midday job at a pioneering sourdough bakery under a Hackney railway arch.

In this episode you’ll hear how the man with no plan is successfully building a team of sourdough bakers (one of whom is also a potter) across two sites in Dorset…and why he gets a bit ranty on the topics of gluten intolerance and interpretations of the word ‘sourdough’…. You’ll probably sympathise by the end of the conversation. Enjoy.