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Humans of Hospitality
67 minutes | 6 days ago
#127 Sarah Heward - Real Food Cafe - Scotland
Sarah has been pretty vocal throughout the pandemic in representing the Scottish Hospitality Sector. I wanted to chat with Sarah in the first instance about how somebody goes from being the MD of a decent sized company in the city of London, to buying an ex Little Chef by the side of an obscure road in rural Scotland. Along the way driving revenue to over £1.7 million per year from a pretty small footprint. And secondly how Sarah had embraced technology to revolutionise how this road side cafe operates. Motivated by the pandemic, but along the way learning some really interesting things that I think the hospitality sector at large is going through. Probably five years worth of technical evolution in one year as we move from ordering from a human, to ordering on an app. Not in evening restaurant service, but very much so across the casual daytime sector. This leads to challenges around the user experience, but some potential big benefits if, as appears to be the case, spend per head increases, whilst labour costs decrease. Sarah also makes some great points about the infrastructure busy tourism destinations are likely to need to have in place if we are to experience the staycation boom most are expecting. It’s not just about business being ready, but car parks and toilets and roads and so much more. Find the Real Food Cafe online, twitter, or instagram
72 minutes | 13 days ago
#126 Chris Davies - CEO Harvest London - Vertical Farming
Chris Davies is founder and CEO of Harvest London, a couple of vertical farms in the city of London. Chris is going to help us understand how vertical farms could be part of the solution to feeding the planet. As Chris puts it, this will be part of the solution and not all food will be, or can be grown this way. But the benefits of growing food where it is to be consumed, rather than potentially 1000’s of miles away, the benefits of harvesting food and getting it to the restaurant door within four hours, rather than perhaps four weeks. The benefit of a perfect summers day, every day, no matter the time of year or external weather conditions. The use of tech and automation and the potential for companies to ship their perfect growing recipe to perhaps tweak just a couple of bits of the growing process to grow the perfect leaf. A little more water, 1/2 an hour less light, more blue light than pink light, a slight nutritional change. All of this can effect the flavour of what we grow and eat. And in Chris’s case much of this learning is being done around basil, but can be applied to so much more. And it is clearly a recipe that is working. Chris and Harvest London have just raised over a million pounds of investment, including from the UK governments future fund and demand is fast outstripping supply as they have grand plans for the future. Find Harvest London online or follow them on instagram.
50 minutes | 20 days ago
#125 Tim Hall - Executive Chef - Burgh Island Hotel
It was quite a few months ago when the opportunity crossed my desk to interview Tim Hall, who is the executive chef at Burgh Island. It caught my eye because Burgh Island is such a unique location, as a tidal island just off the south coast of Devon. I was intrigued to understand a bit more around the complexity of running not one, but three restaurants, on an island that for many hours of the day cannot be accessed at all, or certainly not without its challenges. Add to that Tim’s reputation for excellent food and access to some beautiful foraged ingredients, a new owner of the hotel and a new fish restaurant on the island, and I thought it would make a lovely day out and place to visit. Alas lockdown got rid of the visit element, but it was still nice to catch up with Tim and and learn all things Tim and Burgh. Visit the hotel website, or find them on twitter and instagram
81 minutes | a month ago
#124 Lee Cash - Founder Peach Pubs
Lee Cash was always driven to become self employed in the hospitality sector. He learnt his craft with some of the best, from Robin Sheppard at Bespoke Hotels and chef Raymond Blanc. But all the time driven and motivated to test himself, to learn all he could and get ready to put into practise the art of perfecting 1000 little details to make his own venues successful. I always enjoy chatting to people who really have proper hospitality in their soul. Who understand how spaces feel. How the lighting, the candles, the music, the team, the furniture, the layout, the space itself and so much more comes together to create somewhere special that people enjoy. I loved Lee’s perspectives about pubs being a great leveller. More so perhaps than restaurants, you are likely to have every type and age of person hanging out at a bar, ordering a decent pint of beer. You’ll get to hear about how Lee and his business partner Hamish bought different skills to the business, and how over the years, at different stages in their growth, these different skills have helped Peach grow into such a fantastic business. You’ll also laugh at the story of Lee going from being so skint one morning that he had to use his passport as a deposit in an Aussie backpackers, to a few hours later saying yes to his first chef job cooking alone on boat full of divers on the great barrier reef. That say yes now, work out how later, kind of attitude that so many driven entrepreneurs have. You can read more about Peach Pubs on the website, or find them on twitter and instagram
41 minutes | a month ago
#123 Jonathan Neame - CE of Shepherd Neame Brewers
We’re going big this week, and actually I don’t mean a big podcast, but a big business, chatting to Jonathan Neame, the chief executive of Shepherd Neame Brewers. With 320 pubs and pre pandemic turnover of £150 million they are bigger than the normal business I chat to on this podcast, but they have a really interesting family history. Having been around for over 300 years, and maintained family ownership I think they qualify as having had a very inspiring independent hospitality adventure. Topic wise Jonathan is clearly well informed on all that is going on in the pub sector. We touch on navigating the pandemic and at least seeing some growth in the grocery and off sales side of the business, the responsibility of taking over a multi generational family businesses, how to navigate out of the pandemic and how different that may be in London compared to a proper community pub. Changing beer trends, sourcing hops, rents as both a tenant and landlord, future support to enable the sector to bounce back and even Brexit all crops up in our wide ranging chat. Read more on the Shepherd Neame website, or follow Jonathan Neame on twitter, or find the brewery on instagram.
73 minutes | a month ago
#122 Tim Lloyd - MD Captains Club Hotel
From honing his skills in hotels on an employed basis, to learning the art of the restauranteur with his own venues, to taking all of that knowledge and finally getting to apply it in his very own hotel with his partner Rob, Tim has been on a great hospitality journey. And the captains club is a special kind of place. Wether simply attracting the locals for a light lunch, or a few cocktails as the sun sets on the river, or mingling with famous guests such as Hugh Grant or the Gallagher brothers, they’ve really found a way of becoming the heart of their local community. Tim is very humble and easy to chat to about his journey. He makes it all sound too easy, with a detail here, and the right team member there. But Tim and Robert have an attention for detail and a genuine love for their crazy hospitality adventure, no matter how challenging it gets. And they’ve had their challenges, from planning permission impacting the business model leaving them just £1 million pounds short in enough money to open up. And then having finally got the doors open wondering if they’d run out of cashflow before they could turn their dream into a success. But 14 years later they are still going strong, or at least they were until the pandemic struck. But in typical Tim style he’s taking it in his stride and whilst nervous about the future, he and Rob are investing in the property and more than hoping, they are planning on re-opening for a busy summer. I hope you enjoy this chat about perseverance and the meandering journey life can take sometimes, but how, if you simply take the first step, then the adventure can be pretty rewarding and exciting.
75 minutes | 2 months ago
#121 Michel Roux Jr - Media Chef, Author & Le Gavroche
Michel Roux Jr is a true 'Human of Hospitality' who was practically born in a kitchen when his Mum went into labour whilst working in his Dad 'Albert Roux's' restaurant. Michel is well known, partly simply through the recognition of his Dad and Uncle opening Le Gavroche in 1967 and becoming the first British restaurant to be awarded 3 Michelin stars, but also via his extensive work on television through shows such as Masterchef the professionals, and most recently 'remarkable places to eat'. Michel has also been on his own impressive culinary adventure working throughout Europe and even Hong Kong before taking over the helm at Le Gavroche in 1991. In this conversation we get to touch on Michel’s family connections and following in the family legacy, we’ll chat about the business side of being a chef and the importance of knowing your numbers and that successful restaurants are rarely only about the quality of the food. We explore what else it takes and how you need to make a customer 'feel' to really enjoy their visit and want to return regularly. And we explore some of the cultural differences between France and the UK, as well as the differences in the casual dining sector, and even the street food scene, and wether we’ll ever see Michel in his own street food truck. And of course we cover the pandemic and Michel’s hopes for the future, both in business, but perhaps more importantly with his daughter and grandson. You can follow Michel Roux Jr on twitter, or visit his online shop and read more about Le Gavroche on the website or via instagram.
72 minutes | 2 months ago
#120 Richard Ball - Executive Chairman Calcot Collection
Richard is a great example of a 'Human of Hospitality' having worked in the sector almost all of his working life. Richard started the business with his Dad and his family, and recognises all that his family risked, even selling grandmas house to purchase a run down manor, covered in vines and a somewhat dilapidated air. They started small with only 7 bedrooms, but had a vision and a yearning to create something special and to look after people. That journey was tough in those earlier years and he very nearly lost it all before the adventure had really even properly started. But the stars aligned and through working hard and never losing site of the vision, and in many ways fulfilling his destiny through partnership, investment, continual improvement and not being in a hurry to expand, Richard and his team have created something beautiful. Regular listeners will know that I have a love of the independent side of the sector. What Richard has created would not be of interest to the global brands of the world. It’s too small and eclectic and complicated and challenging to run. A number of properties, arguably with not enough rooms to make operations easier in the traditional sense of operating hotels and restaurants. But the properties look stunning and it takes people like Richard to create and operate such miniature beauties. I hope his story, along with the those of the likes of Robin Hutson and Gerrard Basset sleeping on the sofa in the bar because they could not afford to employ people overnight, will inspire others to know that you don’t have to start a business with unlimited resources to invest. We touch on re-wilding land, the early benefits of naivety, 18% mortgage rates, the dangers of michelin stars, running venues as satellites, wider challenges and opportunities for the sector in 2021 and our mutual hope that people will strive for a more simple, perhaps less luxurious life, where time with other humans is the greatest priority over and above material items. See more on the Calcot website, or on instagram or twitter and find the Sally Beck podcast we mention here.
72 minutes | 2 months ago
#119 Emma McClarkin - CE British Beer & Pub Association
Emma has had a fascinating career working in the heart of government in the EU, in part negotiating trade deals. Great timing for a chat that starts with Emma’s thoughts on the EU and our opportunities and risks as we hurtle towards departure. You’ll be pleased to hear Emmas is pretty optimistic on post EU trade, particularly where the export of exceptional British beer is concerned of course. We also chat about Emma’s experience liaising directly with the government on the behalf of the BBPA’s members, representing over half of the pubs in the UK (that’s 20k) and 90% of the brewing industry. They are an important voice, and we discuss how it felt like as the relationship between government and the sector was very strong in spring, but really broke down over the summer recess period. We also touch on wether a minister for hospitality would make the ear of government better or worse, why on earth the government is being so slow in extending support into next year as is happening in Europe, and some of the longer term issues such as Beer Duty and business rates that have been negatively skewing the sector long before COVID appeared on the scene. You can read more about the BBPA here, follow Emma on twitter or join her community here with LinkedIn.
81 minutes | 3 months ago
#118 Minister for Hospitality - Various Guests
A very different style of episode this week. Rather than a detailed conversation with one awesome human of hospitality we have 9 great humans, most of whom have been previous guests. And we have just one topic of conversation. Why they are supporting the campaign for a Minister for Hospitality. This campaign was launched by Claire Bosi but had been sat languishing at around 38k signatures on the government petition website. To be debated in parliament 100k signatures are required. Robin Hutson, CEO of Home Grown Hotels organised a call last week with over 100 very well connected hospitality professionals, and working with some of his graduate trainees as well as some well known faces of the hospitality sector such as Tom Kerridge and Angela Hartnett, launched the ‘seat at the table’ campaign. These nine people, who between them employ tens of thousands of people, but represent an industry of millions, will give you their perspectives on why they want a better seat at the table. Whilst recognising the great work that Kate Nichols and UK Hospitality have achieved, we’d like someone on the inside, as well as the outside of government. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing their perspectives and I hope you will be motivated to visit www.seatatthetable.org.uk where you can find a link to the petition and support the other social media accounts around this campaign. Whilst the petition has now exceeded 100k we want to significantly exceed this target to give every chance of this being successful and a senior minister, rather than token gesture being appointed. 4 min 50 sec - Robin Hutson - CEO The Pig Hotel & Limewood Hotel Visit 12 min 20 sec - Simon Potts - CEO The Alchemist Visit 23 min 20 sec - Danny Pecorelli - MD Exclusive Collection Visit 30 min 20 sec - Juliane Caillouette-Noble - Acting MD of Sustainable Restaurant Association Visit 38 min 50 sec - Sally Beck - GM Royal Lancaster London Visit 47 min 10 sec - Andrew Stembridge - Executive Director Iconic Luxury Hotels Visit 56 min 20 sec - Robin Sheppard - President Bespoke Hotels Visit 1hr 5 min 20 sec - Peter Ducker - Chief Executive Institute of Hospitality Visit 1hr 5 min 25 sec - Gary Jones - Executive Head Chef - Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Visit
77 minutes | 3 months ago
#117 Naomi Duncan - CEO Chefs in Schools charity
Surely schools are the place to improve knowledge on food, on what we should eat, to inspire a life long love for whole food and to understand the difference between real food and processed food. To understand that food is essential for life, and that in the modern world nobody should be going hungry. To try and fathom how on earth it is possible for the same areas struck be food poverty and lack of access to food to at the same time be suffering from diabetes and obesity due to the shocking quality of the food that may be available. It’s just so bloody obvious. How on earth have we allowed ourselves to have an education system that spends so little time on the one thing we put in our bodies every single day that nourishes us. That gives us energy, that fuels our bodies and our minds. We cannot achieve our potential either individually or as a collective unless we fuel ourselves efficiently. Naomi Duncan and the charity Chefs in Schools are right at the beating heart of this debate and trailblazing some of the improvements that can be made. They will soon be working with over 70 schools, predominantly in London, but with grand plans to work with, or inspire a transformation across thousands, if not tens of thousands of schools. In this chat we dive into understanding what the problem with school food is, how have we ended up here, what should be done, what can be done and what is being done. The impact that Naomi and the Chefs in Schools team are having is exceptional and very exciting. Wether helping get fully trained restaurant style chefs into schools, or working with existing teams, they are focused not only on providing better food in canteens, but working with the curriculum in educating children and inspiring them around what good food can look like. But whatever you do, don’t call the food healthy, since they have learnt the hard hard way, that can turn the average teenager off. I hope many of you listening will be inspired to speak to your local schools. If you are a parent perhaps you can ask better questions of your kids school. But if you work in the sector, why not reach out to your local school and see if you can help. I’ve personally found working with my local primary school in inspiring and teaching children about real food and seasonality and presentation and the ethics of food has been hugely entertaining and exceptionally rewarding. Read about the School Food Plan and visit Chefs In Schools online or follow them on instagram or twitter
71 minutes | 3 months ago
#116 Carly Trisk-Grove - B-Corp, OPOP & Cafe in the Park
I love Carly’s story and her energy and ethos and her general hospitality adventure. As you will hear Carly went from a small wooden hut, to an expensive hobby, to raising 1/2 a million pounds and building a beautiful cafe in the park. Along this journey Carly realised that people were the key to all that she was achieving. Carly, her husband 'Ian' and their team won multiple awards for their cafe. Particularly around employing disabled team members and looking after the local community, who treated the cafe as their own. But, Carly is only too aware of how tough a sector hospitality can be, and eventually sold her beloved cafe to start a new life deep in Devon. But as is too often the case, the hospitality itch kept coming back, and Carly and Ian have been busy developing a new concept OPOP. One price, one plate, with ethics and people and shared success deep rooted in it’s DNA. Carly has even become a B-Leader, both for her own business, but also to tell others about the opportunity becoming a B-Corp presents. I learnt a great deal talking to Carly, and really enjoyed her perspectives and positivity. I can’t wait to continue to watch Carly's hospitality adventure unfold in her new found corner of the country. Our conversation talks about B- Corps, Carly’s journey, values and how they evolved, eating meat, pay what you can afford, fundraising and so much more. I’m sure you’ll find some nuggets of wisdom in here and be inspired to continue to care about the type of business you operate, or the type of business you buy from. Follow OPOP on instagram, or read about them on the website, or follow Carly on twitter
85 minutes | 3 months ago
#115 Dan Rose-Bristow - The Torridon Resort
Set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, The Torridon has one of the most spectacular and idyllic locations in the country. What Dan, his wife Rohaise and the team have created in the Torridon is awesome. So remote with the challenges of staffing and weather and access and much more, yet they have an incredible reputation. As treasurer of the Master Innholders, Chairman of Pride of Britain Hotels and Director of Luxury Scotland Consortium Dan’s also got a pretty broad perspective and some great nuggets of wisdom for all in hospitality. Not bad for a city trader with no desire to work anywhere near hospitality when he first set off on his career. Dan and I touch on creative thinking when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff in such remote locations, sustainability and kitchen gardens, diversifying styles of accommodation, rapidly switching target markets, the visit from the BBC team and the subsequent incredible exposure, as well as setting up an outdoor pursuits business in a beautiful and remote part of the countryside. I loved chatting with Dan and have a huge amount of respect for his business acumen and generally just being a great example of another awesome Human of Hospitality. As so many of us do, Dan is working in the industry for the right reasons. Yes, absolutely a good businessmen, but more than that a good human, with a desire to serve not only his guests, but the industry at large, whilst developing a team that can go off out into the broader world of hospitality. Check out the Torridon on the BBC show via the Iplayer Learn more via the Torridon website, follow Dan himself on Twitter or see some beautiful photos via their instagram page. And don't forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter via the podcast website.
77 minutes | 4 months ago
#114 Zoe Wangler - Setting up an ecological farm
Zoe is from the 'ecological land cooperative' (ELC) - a 'Not For Profit' trying to solve some of the problems of excessively large farms, often mono-culture dominated and using too many chemicals, having a very detrimental impact on the land and ecosystem. I speak to many people being inspired to enter the world of hospitality, not only to sell better quality more ethical food to the consumer, but also interested in how to grow this food and actually produce it in the first place. If you're interested in how to have a positive impact on the food you buy, or how it is grown, you will enjoy this weeks conversation. The ELC want to see a living, working countryside where land is valued as a way to enhance the good of community, countryside and the natural world. Revitalising rural economies. They want to see low-impact, land-based livelihoods flourish. The stewardship of land to create healthful, wholesome and ecologically sound food and land-based products that benefit people and the biosphere. And they do this in a number of ways, that starts with buying land and finding stewards who want to set up their own business. They help spread the cost of this land over a number of years and help the new stewards with planning to actually be allowed to live on the land whilst they regenerate and farm it. I think ELC is great NFP. Not only does it have great aspirations, but it already has a number of successful farms up and running and actually making a difference. But it is early days and so much more can be done. I hope some of you listening to this conversation will be inspired to want to set up your own small scale business on a piece of land. But many of you will want to support the incredible work this charity does. And even more of you will think about where you are buying your food and where you can support a local veg box scheme. For further inspiration check out the movie 'the biggest little farm' or 'kiss the ground'. Read more about the ELC on the web. And here are a couple of other great sources of info that crops up in our chat: https://landworkersalliance.org.uk/ https://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk/
79 minutes | 4 months ago
#113 Rocco Bova - GM Chablé Yucatán - Mexico
Rocco Bova is living quite the hospitality adventure. I wanted to catch up with him for a few reasons. Firstly he’s running a health resort in Mexico, a fascinating country. Sometimes a reputation for drug cartels, kidnapping and more recently a catastrophic impact of COVID-19. But Rocco loves Mexico, and he’s lived in enough countries to be able to make an objective decision. Secondly, with people maybe questioning why they work in hospitality and wondering what the future might hold, Rocco demonstrates just what an exciting and varied career it can provide. He’s worked in all the corners of the globe, really getting to know local cultures and people as he lives in, rather than travels through, so many different countries. It’s one of the great opportunities a career in hospitality can provide. But I wanted to chat realistically about the pros and cons. Is a family life still possible, is managing different cultures a challenge, does he miss the comforts of a regular home life. I won’t spoil the conversation, but safe to say Rocco absolutely LOVES hospitality and all the adventurous opportunities it has created for him. Finally Rocco runs a wellness resort, and has some strong views on the vortex of negative thinking and what we should all be doing, both mentally and physically to maintain a positive outlook and make the most of our limited time on earth. We also chat through some practical tips on social media management, how to make guests feel like they are staying with their mother for their vacations, how excited he is that his kids are following in his footsteps and studying hospitality and the global human values of respect love and trust and so much more. Find out more about Chable resorts on the website or follow Rocco himself on instagram or linkedIn
83 minutes | 4 months ago
#112 Nicholas Dickinson - Congham Hall Hotel
If you don’t know his name, you’ll certainly know some of the venues Nicholas has worked and some of the businesses he’s developed. Nicholas without a doubt is a bona fide 'human of hospitality'. It’s been his life’s work. From cutting his teeth at the Chewton Glen working for the likes of Robin Hutson, to becoming the MD at Le Manoir and being Raymond Blanc’s right hand, man whilst working in partnership with Richard Branson and the virgin group. And having learnt from some of the most inspirational leaders in our sector it was time to go it alone when Nicholas co-founded Luxury Family Hotels. Along with a few others at the time creating a new genre of hotels that many have replicated. I’ll let Nicholas tell the story of how the purchase of a hotel in Liverpool led to the need to start considering a sale and how Von Essen’s offer was just too good to turn down. Now Nicholas has found his happy place back on the coal face of hospitality with just one beautiful country house ‘Congham Hall’. Nicholas has some strong views around the challenges of the governments approach to COVID in the rural hotel space and how ridiculous the implementation of some of the rules are. But overall he’s busy, still in love with hospitality, tells the story of his adventures very well and still has ambitions to continue to develop and add rooms to what will be his last hotel. Nicholas was warm and generous with his time and has been good enough to introduce me to some great future guests too. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing first hand about his interesting career that once again demonstrates just how much fun and how much can be achieved in a life of hospitality. Check the website or twitter or instagram.
86 minutes | 4 months ago
#111 David Begg - Founder Real Kombucha
David Begg is one of those hospitality obsessives regular listeners will know I love to meet. Another one of those humans that has a little tiny seedling of an idea, that turns into an obsession that turns into an utterly awesome product that then enhances all of our worlds of food, drink and hospitality. And this time I’m talking about Kombucha. But not just any Kombucha, but the sort that is now sitting on the menus of many of the finest Michelin starred restaurants around the country proudly sitting along side Prosecco and champagne as an alcohol free alternative. You see it transpires that if you ferment some of the finest tea leaves, picked young in some of the worlds best tea gardens, with some Mother cultures, a little bit of magic and a whole heap of David’s obsession, you can create something beautiful and complex and light and delicious. We’ll chat to David about alcohol eating bacteria, DNA tested cultures that could be hundreds of years old, 150 different types of tea, don’t worry, we won’t go into detail on all of them, picking tea leaves whilst their young and different days picks and how rubbing the leaves around a hot wok can transform the end result. But as well as a great product, this is also a great story of David the businessmen and how a chance over dinner drink with yoga and wellness guru Howard Napper sent David off on a journey. And David has an entrepreneurial brain having previously been involved in the technology that later became booking.com and selling furniture in over 62 countries through the business ‘Tom Dixon’ that he co-founded. I’m confident you’ll enjoy this chat and by the end of it have a whole heap of knew knowledge, be desperate to try David’s Real Kombucha and be inspired by another business story. Follow them on instagram or twitter or check out the website.
70 minutes | 5 months ago
#110 Ollie Hutson - Group Head Kitchen Gardener - The Pig Hotels
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. To follow Ollie's adventures head over to his twitter page or visit the website .
78 minutes | 5 months ago
#109 David Chenery - Object Space Place - Sustainable Design
Finally, we are doing a sustainability episode. And I say finally because regular listeners will know that sustainability comes up alot in my conversations when we think about farming and plant based diets and the impact on the environment of what we eat and drink. But what I’d not touched on thus far was the sustainability deep rooted into the actual design of venues and the business itself. Because surely it all starts there. If the restaurant itself is smashing its way through unnecessary fossil fuels or using poisonous materials, or chopping down virgin rain forest to make the furniture then clearly that would be pretty outrageous. David Chenery, today’s guest has been deeply buried in cogitating on what sustainable design means for a number of years. David is not an activist, but wants to find a way to live on planet earth and ideally leave it better, or at the very least not make it worse. David has spent a number of years as an interior architect and design consultant at Object Space Place and has had a career specialising in commercial interiors in a varied range of international and UK based retail stores, hair salons, restaurant concepts and luxury fashion department stores. But more recently he's doubled down and focused on sustainable hospitality and what that might mean. David has been working on a RESTORATIVE RESTAURANT FRAMEWORK, built on the principles of a circular economy and designing with end of life in mid. Within that are some fascinating perspectives and I’m confident you’re going to enjoy this chat and it’s certainly going to get you to think. We chat about the importance of the stories of sustainability, or the accreditation of sustainability. And how for me personally, in an industry where we are so use to chatting to customers about the journey their food or drink has been on, who produced it, or caught it, or made it, or how many miles it has travelled, naturally extending that to where the recycled bar top has come from, or how the furniture has been reclaimed from an old church or school rather than ending up in landfill, feels like an easy extension of what we do. You can find David on LinkedIn or check out his website and don't forget you can donate to the podcast via PayPal
67 minutes | 5 months ago
#108 - Gregorie Marshall - Blackthorn Scottish Sea Salt
Gregorie, from Blackthorn knows an incredible amount about salt. His family have been involved in salt for over 140 years. His Dad’s Dad Dad set up the business, but this latest venture is their first foray into the actual production of salt. You should probably pause this episode at this point and go to blackthornsalt.co.uk and take a look at this crazy big tower of thorns they have built on the edge of the ocean in Scotland. It will help you visualise what we are about to chat about. This incredible wooden structure, dribbles sea water through 54 wooden taps releasing the water to trickle down a tower of blackthorn exposed to the Scottish winds and sun, evaporating the water and leaving an ever increasing saline solution. There is something beautifully romantic and nostalgic about harnessing nature right on the waters edge in Scotland. I learnt so much chatting to Gregorie. Not just about salt, but about how to run a business for multiple generations and how being curious and embarking on adventures just because they are fun, rather than financially proven, is such a wonderful part of so many hospitality journeys. But yourself some salt on the website here Follow Blackthorn Salt here instagram and twitter A link to the video we mention here
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