Episode 67 CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL
Will Beckett – Hawksmoor

A bonus episode and new idea to release shorter regular podcasts specifically around what people in the hospitality sector are doing, or some advice around some of the fast paced legislation changes.

These CORONAVIRUS special podcasts are slanted towards people in hospitality or who are interested in hospitality, but will overlap with business people in general and what they are doing in the current crisis.

Other episodes you can find and more orientated around everyone interested in food and drink.

In this episode, Will Beckett from Hawksmoor chats about the journey in the past two weeks and how they navigated the difficulty between holding onto their values, whilst making tough decisions for the business.  We discuss the implications of the government support strategy that has been launched, and some thoughts on the future and how and when things may change.

I hope it’s useful.  

Episode 66 CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL
JD – Street Feast / London Union

A bonus episode and new idea to release shorter regular podcasts specifically around what people in the hospitality sector are doing, or some advice around some of the fast paced legislation changes.

These CORONAVIRUS special podcasts are slanted towards people in hospitality or who are interested in hospitality, but will overlap with business people in general and what they are doing in the current crisis.

Other episodes you can find and more orientated around everyone interested in food and drink.

In this episode, JD who has a background as a corporate lawyer, is particularly good at keeping abreast of some of the support from government and what it means in the real world. We cover Forfeiture Moratorium, employee rescue plan, eligibility to loans, HRMC and what you should and could be doing in your business now.

I hope it’s useful.  

Episode 65 Ben Jackson
Fluffetts Farm (eggs)

This week’s guest has a brilliant way of describing his striking career change in 2008, when he went from ‘birdless flight to flightless birds’.  I’ll explain! 

For more than a decade, Ben Jackson had been the MD of the London Beach Store – a business he loved, because it focussed on his fascination for kite surfing, which had begun when he was 3 years old.  

Then, just over a decade ago, he got involved in running his family’s farm and has never looked back. Fluffetts specialises in what it calls ‘genuinely free range eggs’ and Ben has built up encyclopaedic knowledge about every aspect of hen behaviour and egg laying. 

For instance, the ‘pecking order’ really does exist and most flocks have a hard-core escape committee: birds who work out how to fly over any barrier and into the woods, never to return.   

And if you’ve ever wondered why egg yolks vary in colour from pale yellow to orange or why the shells of larger eggs tend to be more brittle than those of smaller ones, Ben has the answers.  Some of them will make your mind boggle.  

I’ve wanted to dive deep into eggs for a long time.  We consume millions of them a day across the country.  But with battery farming, organic and free range, I think there is a great deal of confusion around such an everyday product. So it’s time to get myth busting and get some actual facts.  Enjoy the conversation.  

Episode 64 Vince Noyce and
Dich Oatley – British Rum

Craft beers and gins have come into their own in the last few years – alongside artisanal bakeries and independent coffee roasters.  So what’s going to be the next big thing amongst small, specialist food and drink businesses? 

If you listened to my podcast with Keterina Albanese at the Pub Show, it could be cider, English whisky or rum.  If it’s rum, then Giles Collighan, Vince Noyce and Dich Oatley will be leading the way. 

I caught up with Vince and Dich at the Portsmouth Distillery, where I discovered that the word ‘rum’ is really an umbrella term for a drink that comes in different guises, from the floral French ‘agricole’ which uses sugar cane juice to the molasses-based rum associated with the British Navy. 

Regular listeners will know that I love meeting people who do things properly.  Who really research and understand their craft and don’t take shortcuts.  This edition is yet another tale of dedication and patience, with Vince in particular devoting hours to researching different rums across the Caribbean, from the Dominican Republic in the North down to Trinidad in the South. It’s a tough gig, but someone’s got to do it… 

And now, they have to impatiently wait 3 years for some of their barrel aged rum to mature, hidden in a casement of a fort built in 1785, providing perfect temperature controlled ageing conditions.    

Episode 63 Mark Rogers
Twinways Orchard and Bees

I’ve waited a very long time to interview this weeks guest.  But patience paid off, and I’m utterly sure this programme will blow, or at least open your mind just a little bit more. 

It’s about those tiny little creatures without whom this podcast would not exist, in the sense that so much of the food and drink we eat is dependent on this insect’s ability to pollinate plants.  

Mark Rogers, owner of Twinways Orchard, has immersed himself in the world of bees for years. Whilst I knew bees were important, and I knew they were being threatened, for a very long time I’ve wanted to speak to an expert about what exactly is going on and why we should be concerned. 

Mark will reveal parts of bees lives that sound like they belong to science fiction – and yet they’re happening all around us, without us noticing.    

For instance, I thought being Queen Bee was a nice gig.  It turns out she’s not the boss at all but the hive’s egg slave, being herded around by her inferiors. 

And did you know that honeybees are greedy vandals?  Give them half a chance and they will rip a hole in the bottom of a flower to get to the nectar, leaving nothing for other types of insect whose tongues were designed specifically for that plant and will pollinate it properly.  

And we haven’t got onto the figure-of-eight dance that bees do, and the amazing things it tells other bees, or how long bees can survive in the post. 

When you listen, I hope you learn as much as I did, and I hope that you will never want to spray your roses, or any other plant, again.