It all started at boredom… Jethro was reading about the history of Portland when he ‘stumbled across’ an article about the old sea salt production and how Dorset used to produce it all around the Jurassic Coast. Years, and multiple jerry cans full of sea water later, Jehtro has successfully put Portland back on the map as being the source of one of the yummiest sea salt producers in the world.
On a massive rock that juts out into the English Channel, there’s a young man who cleverly mimics the salt lakes of the Camargue. Ok, what Jethro Tennant has created in the last two years is actually a mini version of these salt plains: carefully extracting the salt from the pristine water around Dorset’s Chesil Beach, and drying it in artificial heat which is powered by solar, wind and biomass energy.
And in just 24 months, demand for his product – Dorset Sea Salt – is growing steadily, from discerning delicatessens, farm shops and restaurants to big names like Selfridges.
Not bad for a start-up that began life with Jethro heaving jerry cans of sea water from the beach to his parent’s house, and experimenting with the evaporation process on his mum’s hob… for hours, and hours. (Don’t mention the gas bill!)
Perhaps the most intriguing thing is what triggered Jethro’s fascination for sea salt in the first place. I doubt if you’ll guess. You’ll just have to listen to find out.
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Bartenders, rather than blondes, have the most fun is something you’ll learn in this weeks episode. Alex Kammerling is not only extremely creative – but persistent. Experimenting for five years with around 100 ingredients to find the perfect balance of taste, health benefit and nostalgia that Kamm & Sons British Aperitif brings… And Alex did it all in his little flat, unfortunately for his housemate! Learn all about Alex and the Kammerling sons journey below.
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…
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.