Episode 58 Will Beckett

If there is one restaurant on this planet that embodies purity of intent and an obsessive eye for detail, it’s Hawksmoor. 

Whether you’re in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or New York (which will, or has opened, depending on when you listen) you know you’ll be given exceptional food, but with none of the stuffiness that used to come with such wonderful dining. 

As regular listeners will know, I have the privilege of interviewing dozens of hospitality legends.  Without fail, whenever the Hawskmoor name crops up, people express their appreciation for the awesome, well deserved, and exceptionally consistent reputation.

Hawksmoor’s founders, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, have stuck to their original vision, doing simple things really well and delivering them in beautifully relaxed settings, which feel like they’ve been there forever.   

But doing simple things brilliantly takes a lot of time and effort. My conversation with Will gives you an insight into the incredible amount of thought that goes into every tiny detail – from sourcing ingredients from the best ethical producers to calibrating the level of smoky grit on the grills used to cook the famous Hawksmoor steaks…. To even rummaging through second-hand shops to find the right architectural features for each of their venues. 

Hawksmoor is an inspiring example of how you can build your business with integrity, on both sides of the Atlantic.  And if you’re wondering why Hawksmoor dares to bring its offering to the USA, home to the steak restaurant, start listening now to find out… 

Episode 57 Keterina Albanese
The Pub Show 2020

Here’s a cheeky little bonus episode for you this week. The quintessential British pub is changing.  Is that good, bad, or just necessary?  Well, pause a minute and let’s imagine that you’re sitting in a pub, and on the drinks menu you find a delightful rose cider, served by the wine glass; a fine small batch English whisky, described as having notes of cherry; and an impressive selection of mocktails and botanical-based soft drinks and cordials.  

Then you notice that the pub isn’t just open at lunch time and in the evenings: it offers art and floristry classes in the afternoons and a mum and toddler’s coffee morning between 9 and 12 on weekdays.  

Maybe your local organises these sorts of things already.  If it does, it falls into what my guest today describes as the ‘hybrid pub’ category.  They include pubs which use their buildings in different ways or partner up with local breweries, distilleries and chefs, to offer their customers new drink and food experiences – from supper clubs to gin safaris.  

Keterina Albanese is the Content Director of The Pub Show, also known as ‘Pub 20’.  It opens its doors on the 4th and 5th February at Olympia in London, and as you’ll hear now, it’s the place to learn about the latest trends and be inspired on how to make a pub a success…

Episode 56 Harry Lomas
Head of Culinary Wembley Stadium

People often say, in an off-the-cuff way, that something they organised was ‘like a military operation’.  Well, this week’s guest, Harry Lomas, really does know what it’s like to run a kitchen as a huge, well-oiled military machine.  

Harry’s strategic skills have been honed by the 34 years he spent with the British Army.  His amazing career included a stint with The Royal Household; the position of Master Chef with the Parachute Regiment in Cyprus and, to round off, being responsible for feeding troops around the world, including Afghanistan. There he was involved in rebuilding the kitchen at Camp Bastion, which had to serve 25,000 troops at each sitting.  

The statistics become more eye-watering with Harry’s next role, overseeing the catering for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. As you’ll hear, the prospect of serving 147,000 people a day, never seemed to daunt Harry.  That’s probably why he’s the perfect fit for the title he holds now: Head of Culinary at Wembley Stadium.  

At which point, I’ll hand over to the great strategist himself.  Only Harry can explain the complexities of cooking different meals for thousands of football fans  – and making sure they’re back in their seats before kick-off.  

Show Notes: Episode 55 – Jody Scheckter & Laverstoke Park Farm

Jody Scheckter is truly a fountain of knowledge. From winning Formula One in 1979, to creating simulations for the police in USA, to getting degrees in micro biology and chemistry to find out about the soil and moving back to Hampshire to purchase herds of buffalo and create award winning cheese and ice cream… It’s safe to say life for Jody has been go go go. Now, he is taking some time to rest and teach us about all the amazing details he’s obsessed over to create a sustainable and inspiring business model at Laverstoke Park Farm.