Episode 39 Alex Kammerling
Founder Kamm and Sons

Before we start, I wanted to let you know that we had a smidgen of a sound problem with this recording, so the audio quality is not where I usually like it to be… but I think the sheer determination of this week’s guest will see us through. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, for good reason: the world of food and drink would be a much duller place without the dogged perseverance and amazing palate of people like Alex Kammerling.  

For around 3 years, the flat he shared became home to countless little bottles, each filled with different flowers, roots, bark, berries and spices…all gently macerating in alcohol.  

Why? Because Alex was determined to create Britain’s first ever stand-alone aperitif, in the tradition of an Aperol or Campari, but with a unique flavour of its own.  He started with 100 different botanicals and spent months and months whittling them down… Hence lots of little bottles….  

Most of us would never go down this alchemy route: we’d just sit back and order another G&T or Pimms. So what drove Alex? And did it work out the way he wanted? 

Find out now… 

Episode 38 Miranda Martin
Independent Hotel Show

MIDWEEK BONUS EPISODE – Although this podcast is aimed at anyone who loves food and drink it has a natural slant towards people who work in or around hospitality.   

And If you listen to these conversations regularly, you’ll have noticed that certain issues keep cropping up. So as well as chatting about these issues, and trying to get people to think about them when choosing where to spend there money, it’s pretty awesome to also be able to give some advice as to how as an industry we work together.  One way we do this is to meet up at shows and listen to speakers or brainstorm situations.   

So In this episode we’re going to look at some of those issues and touch on what topics are going to be discussed at the Independent Hotel show this month. 

So for example,  words like ‘craft’, ‘artisan’ and ‘boutique’ have been borrowed by bigger brands, giving the impression that they are as bespoke as the little guy. But actually, if you listen to my chats with Joel from Bad Hand Coffee, or Pete from Bakehouse 24 or Claire from Chococo, you’ll realise they really aren’t.    

Online Travel Agencies  – known as OTAs in the trade – are another one. They’re great when you want to book a trip or room within a couple of clicks, but tough for the small hotels at the other end, who pay big in commission.   

Oh, and then there’s Trip Adviser. Don’t get me started!   

Instead let’s meet Miranda Martin, who runs The Independent Hotel Show, which takes place in Olympia, London on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th October.   And if your inspired or irritated by any of the topics in this conversation, you can dive deeper by popping along to the show yourself, or I’m sure we’ll be touching on many of these topics again in future episodes of the podcast.  Sign up for my weekly newsletter at humans of hospitality .co.uk. 

Episode 37 Mitch Tonks
Award winning chef, author & TV

This week you meet a champion of the sea and of preparing seafood simply and sustainably. Whether you’ve got one of his cookery books, visited his award-winning Seahorse and Rockfish restaurants or watched him on TV with world class rugby player Matt Dawson, you’ll know that Mitch Tonks is one of the country’s most fervent ambassadors for fish   

You’ll hear just how fervent, when he talks about the planetary benefits of freezing fish; whether prawns should be on or off the menu and what he’s doing to make sure that the rubbish his trawlerman collects from the sea isn’t dumped straight back into the ocean.  

He’s also great on the difference between real hospitality and the stage set version and why the willingness to chat is a must if you want to become a restaurant owner. 

I thoroughly enjoying spending time with Mitch, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy this weeks conversation.

Episode 36 Jane and Dave
Mum and Dad’s Kitchen

A cheeky little mid week bonus episode this week from the lovely Jane and Dave who left the NHS and the MET Police to show hospitality makes a great choice of career change…

So, have you heard the one about the nurse, the police officer and the award-winning pies? You’re about to. 

Dave and Jane’s journey to what they now call ‘Pie Land’ was not conventional. It began when they bought a convenience store in Worcester, thinking it would be a nice retirement project after busy careers in the Met and NHS.  But with 600 customers a day, and a hungry demand for Dave’s pork rolls and Jane’s chocolate Tiffin, retirement was put on hold.  And a good thing too, because without that foundation, Hampshire would not be enjoying what is a growing selection of delicious pies – from steak and kidney to gluten-free  egg, bacon and chorizo, which earned the couple the accolade of  ‘Supreme Champion’ in the 2019 Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition. 

Not bad for an operation that began, and has stayed, in the cellar of their home in South Sea.   And that’s where I join them, at the end of a busy week producing 1000 pies….   

Episode 35 Andrew Stephen
CEO Sustainable Restaurant Association

I think it’s fair to say that over the last decade, we’re all trying to do our bit to help the planet. Whether it’s getting rid of single-use plastic or recycling, we know what we should be doing.

But actually, there’s one area of our lives that trumps all that effort:  what we eat. As you’ll hear in this week’s conversation with Andrew Stephen, the CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the power of your appetite is phenomenal. As an individual, what you choose to eat, and where and when you choose to eat it, represent your biggest impact on the natural world.

As you’ll also hear, nothing is straightforward about the choices you make. For instance, soy is praised by many for replacing dairy products, but criticised by others for its part in the deforestation of the Amazon.

That is why the SRA is such a brilliant organisation. It helps restaurants and diners to find their way through the maze and understand how they can become more sustainable in a range of practical, achievable ways.