I love the Pig Hotels and their obsession on the best local produce. This extends to their beautiful kitchen gardens where group chef James Golding gave me a tour in a previous podcast episode. After a recent chat with Ollie’s Dad and CEO Robin Hutson, I was excited to arrange to go to the Pig nursery in the New Forest and meet Ollie face to face and get to peruse his mother of seed planning spreadsheets.
You’re going to learn just how much work goes into creating a kitchen garden for a hotel or restaurant. The balance between productive space and a show garden space. How to ensure those spaces always look great, but are genuinely used for a seed to plate menu. I love Ollie’s annual planning meeting with the chefs, where they are only allowed to say on of four things. ‘More, Less, the same or not at all’.
We also touch on Ollie’s childhood and the pros and cons of living in an entrepreneurial house and his first hand witnessing of Hotel Du Vin being built around family life. Ollie was generous with his time and an utter gentleman to spend a couple of hours with. I hope you enjoy the results and next time you wander though a kitchen garden appreciate just how much graft is going on behind the scenes.