Episode 48 – James Mansfield and Field & Flower – Show Notes

The importance of eating higher quality meat in smaller quantities has came to light alongside the growth of sustainability in the hospitality industry over the past few years. James Mansfield forms a big part of this change and step in the right direction. From serving the Spice Girls in The Ivy Restaurant to slicing up meat sourced from sustainable farmers, James has always been a fan of food. This week he teaches us just why he and his business partner are creating their very own set of accreditation for the farmers they use – and how Field and Flower are small, but a successful and beautiful business model that will hopefully change the way we eat meat for the future.

#048 James Mansfield
Field and Flower – grass fed meat by post

James Mansfield, is a master at learning on the job. When he and James Flower, a friend from agricultural college, decided to set up their meat box business, both of them had to perfect the art of butchery from a standing start. They also had to scale up their culinary skills very rapidly, so they could serve mouth-watering dishes to 2,000 VIP guests at Richard Branson’s V Festival.  

I was excited to chat to James since with alot of press recently about eating less meat for the sake of planet earth, I was intrigued to explore some issues around what good and bad practise looks like.  Is it a case of eating no meat, or eating better meat.  Caring more about animal welfare and recognising that how the animals we eat are cared for, what they eat and what drugs they take must surely be part of the informed conversation.  These could be tricky things to ask a butcher, but as expected James was engaging, knowledgeable and happy to educate. 

This willingness to jump in at the deep end and learn on the go partly explains why ‘field&flower’  is so successful today. It’s also because they’ve stuck to their principles: only supplying traditionally reared grass-fed beef, along with free range poultry, pork and lamb. It won’t surprise you to know that they’ve designed their own box packaging too, which is more environmentally friendly than the traditional poly box.  

As you’ll hear now, James’ hospitality career began in the same ‘nought-to-sixty’ vein, front of house at one of London’s most famous restaurants. 

Episode 47 – Griff Holland and Friska – Show Notes

Griff Holland is the co-founder of the deliciously different group of fast-food restaurants, Friska. Griff had a vision, one that he just couldn’t get out of his head even when on his travels post-uni. Then, he met Ed, and who helped him not only better his vision, but make it REAL. In this episode, Griff in apologetically himself – guaranteed to make you smile. Let him talk to you about how his love of hospitality is simple, but huge, and the passion he has for his business is truly wonderful.

Episode 47 Griff Holland
Co-founder of Friska

Griff Holland, co founder of Friska, epitomises the enthusiasm and energy you all too often find in some of the awesome humans of hospitality.  Spending a couple of ours in Griff’s company was an utter pleasure.  His level of obsession about just the right amount of avocado that should be any one bite of a sandwich reminded me of why a life of hospitality is so all consuming and almost impossible to nail.  So many details to obsess about. 

One of the great things about setting up a food or drink business is that you have the perfect reason to test – and taste – lots of edible things, in the name of market research.    

Griff, took the work of testing and tasting to impressive (possibly obsessive) extremes. Whether it was offering samples of five different types of chai to fellow diners in India or quizzing American tourists in Vietnam about their lunch habits back home,  Griff was relentless in his quest to work out what makes us feel really good when we go out to eat.  

And his research paid off, because, right from the start the ‘Feel Good Food’ vision of Friska has impressed a succession of funders and has gained a loyal following in Bristol and Manchester. 

But, as you’ll hear, Griff, and his co-founder Ed Brown, have learned hard  lessons too – including the importance of serving great coffee and  having something familiar, like a chicken sandwich, on the menu.  

Episode 46 – Guy Singh Watson and Riverford Organic Farmers -Show Notes

Guy has worked hard his whole life to build what is now a hugely successful business that not only grows sustainable, organic vegetables… But is also 74% owned by the staff that run it. Guy’s knowledge of soil, vegetables and the farming industry as a whole is truly phenomenal. Learn this week the truth about farming and supplying to supermarkets, and why Guy is an anti-capitalist that believes the government NEED to not only help in the way food and farming are regulated – but also how they need to realise the true potential and genuine nature of human beings. Contrary and simply contagious – meet Guy Singh Watson.