You’ll have to ask The Duke Brothers! I sort of like it. I guess I am the boss here but it’s not a title I really feel comfortable with so the Hog bit softens it nicely.
What’s makes it good day for you at work?
Variety. It’s satisfying to have a day where I’m involved in all areas of the business and all those areas are problem free and running smoothly. Thankfully those days are not as rare as they used to be.
Strengths: Being able to tell where an airplane is flying from just by looking at it (we’re right under the flight path to Heathrow here when they are landing in a westerly direction).
Weaknesses: Forgetting that no one is interested in me telling them where a plane may or may not be from.
I was immersed in the fashion trade as an Area Manager for many years where I was known as “The Process Queen”. I'm a stickler for detail!
Is it Important to be a good cook when working for a food business?
Absolutely. It was when my passion for food overtook my passion for fashion that I made the switch.
What’s your signature dish?
My family would say Sunday Roast - I used to be a pub chef at one point so I'm well practiced! Personally I have a love of all things Spanish. 'Cordero asada a la Catalana' is a favourite - a leg of lamb laid on a bed of sliced potato and onion, roasted in lemon, thyme, garlic and (lots of) white wine. Delicious!
What do you like about working for Serious Pig?
I love the ambition, the innovation and the pace - we know our values and we stick to them. I'm very proud of our products.
All 3 are creative industries where being knowledgeable and passionate about what you do really counts. The main difference is fashion tends to be trend-led whereas small craft businesses like Mother Kelly's and Serious Pig are exciting and innovative.
You've also been on the DJ circuit for over 20 years! How do you balance sales by day and house clubs / radio shows by night?
Ha, good question! You have to have that work/play balance right - work hard play hard to coin a 'cheesy' phrase ... I love my music and clubbing but work will always come first, too old to be any other way!!
Tasked with creating a 'Music To Eat Salami To' playlist... name 3 tracks you'd choose for moments when it's you, a beer and a stick of salami.
Hmmm just 3 tracks? Linda Clifford - Runaway Love, Joey Negro's re-work of George Benson's Love Ballad and Kings of Tomorrow - Fall For You ... nothing to do with beer or snacks .. just my all time favs!!
As a snacker... Sweet or Savoury?
Savoury all day long ... I have bit of an obsession with Crunchy Snacking Cheese.
I think the world of artisan wine and craft beer is quite similar in many ways. Understanding the different flavours profiles, appreciating how they’re made and the skill that goes into it is important. Our stockists are so passionate and knowledgeable about their craft beers, its quite infectious. I never stop learning (and never stop tasting!)
As well as knowing all there is to know about wine, you have experience in fine dining. What's your favourite food and drink pairing?
Ooh, that’s the million dollar question. I always experiment with my pairings, even when you get it wrong it's interesting to work out why it doesn’t go well together. My go to method though, I like to pair wine with the local food, as they’re both grown in the same climate I think they go best together. Imagine sitting by the sea in Italy eating a fresh seafood linguine, drinking a glass of wine from made from the vines around you.
You speak several languages; French, Polish, Spanish and even Chinese! Which was the hardest to learn?
I learnt Polish from my grandparents when I was growing up, but I still think it’s the hardest language to learn. Surprisingly, Mandarin isn’t as hard as you think, I spent a year studying in Shanghai so hearing, speaking and reading it every day forced me to learn it I guess. I remember landing at the airport in Shanghai after a 13 hour flight, trying to communicate my new address to the taxi driver who did not understand my Chinese pronunciation, he spoke no English and couldn’t read. So that was a great start!
What's your go to Serious Pig snack and what would you choose to drink with it?
Well, cheese and wine is a match made in heaven, so I would have to go for the Truffle Crunchy Snacking Cheese with a glass of Burgundy Pinot Noir (a little bit extra, I know, but trust me!)
Anything from Throbbing Gristle to Miles Davis, some days you want to hear MF DOOM, others you want Kyuss.
It's a pretty mixed bag.
How does Peckham compare to your hometown, Sheffield?
Although my hometown is actually London, I lived in Sheffield for 11 years, so it's a tale of two cities really, albeit with much less
Dickensian whimsy. Also the beer is cheaper in Sheffield.
You enjoy a well earned beer at our neighbours 'Brick Brewery' after a busy day at work - what's your go to brew?
Not hugely adventurous but my go to would be a Peckham Pale. Maybe after a couple I can be convinced to branch out into trying one of their sours.
You've worked at Serious Pig for a few years now - how would you describe the culture of SPHQ?
Much like a well aged salami the culture can appear on the cusp of being off but actually hides a well developed richness and depth.
I am a big fan of snacking any time of the day and I enjoy trying all sorts of new and unusual snacks from all parts of the world. Variety is the spice of life!
In your spare time you dance and teach swing - what is your favourite dance and why?
At the moment I'm getting back into tap, which is great because I'm not very good at it! Practicing at home is a bit of a challenge but a perk of dancing in the kitchen is that snacks are always on hand 😉
You're a definite 'people person' and team player - how would you sum up the Serious Pig team?
Hard working, supportive and up for a laugh!
What's your serious nibble?
It's got to be the Cornish Sea Salted Almonds.