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 when I was known as “The Process Queen”!
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?
I don’t have a signature dish as such but I do have a love of all things Spanish. Cordero asada a la Catalana is a favourite.
What do you like about working in Peckham?
Not the journey to work for sure, it takes me ages! I do like Peckham for its diversity, rich culture and the number of small independent businesses that flourish here.
It has been a little varied! But through nearly all of my jobs there has been a common thread…good food. I’ve been lucky enough to write for some big restaurant groups, cook in one of Europe’s highest kitchens and get paid to promote the country’s best steakhouse so there was always plenty of great stuff to eat. After my first bite of Snacking Salami I knew it would be a good move!
You're a crafty guy - hey you've got the beard for it! What is your view on the explosion of craft industries in the UK?
I hate them all. No, only joking, ‘craft’ can be such a confusing term but at its heart I feel like it describes that extra consideration and passion that goes into whatever is being produced. When this same consideration is applied for enjoyment such as beers, ciders or proper bar snacks it can only ever be a good thing! It also gives the opportunity for smaller, interesting businesses to thrive…just minutes from our office, for example, you can find a Sake brewery, a blacksmith forge, a craft meadery and so many more small craft business producing amazing products.
We've heard that you're that fascinated with black pudding that you're writing a book about it. What started this passion?
Haha YES – keep an eye out for the book (name TBC) next year! Strangely I think the initial moment that sparked my interest in black pudding was around two year’s ago, in a restaurant in Bordeaux, when I ordered a black pudding-style dish and I didn’t like it. I couldn’t finish it. And I couldn’t remember the last time I couldn’t finish a dish in a restaurant! Since then I have visited numerous black pudding producers, chefs who have very kindly created recipes and even been to the Black Pudding Throwing Championship 2018. See you there in 2019?
You've told us you love living and working in London - what is it about London that you admire?
SO MANY THINGS, but I’ve already bored you with black pudding so will keep it short. The most important thing in London for me is the variation and opportunity. I thrive off things I don’t understand (a lot), and things I’ve never seen (also a lot), so no matter if it’s a strange vegetable on a market in Brixton, or an exhibition about trees at the V&A, if it’s unknown I’m there.
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.
Aside from the trains messing around with our radio signal I hardly notice the constant barrage of noise emanating from only a few meters above my head.
On a good day how many salami can get packed in the arch and shipped out?
On a really good day we could manage packing and sending out about 10,000 salami. That’s our record so far.
You’re off on holiday for a month, where you going to go?
Probably heading to mainland Europe for a good dose of exploring. I’ve always wanted to spend some decent time in Italy – the home of salami!
What’s the first thing you’ll eat when you get back from said holiday?
If I can’t get my hands on mayo I’m not happy so if there’s no mayo in Italy (I’m pretty sure there is) I’ll be making up for it.
Of course I am, I’m a Fashion Guru lol. I love fashion, it runs through my veins. Your appearance is the first thing you’re judged on when meeting someone, I have to look good!
Your attention to detail is important with what you do, does it come naturally?
Yes I’m really organised and I prefer things to be done the right and proper way (I have OCD x 1,000,000,000)
What’s your comfort food for a miserable day at home?
Hot cookies and hazelnut ice-cream. Hand cut fries.
Grape or grain?