Episode 46: Dale | The Medicinal Chef

Maintaining trust, longevity and relevance in a 15+ year career and leading a successful multi-hyphen business with Dale - chef, nutritionist, presenter and author of 14 books

For this episode we spoke to Dale about all the different elements of The Medicinal Chef, including: books, TV, podcasts, online programmes and Instagram. It's fascinating to hear how Dale's interest in nutrition started from such a young age and how this passion and drive for the subject propelled him into sustaining a career for over 15 years. We find out how the industry has evolved since then and how social media has increased accessibility and reach to give value to a much wider audience. We explore Dale's ethos around food and cooking and how this practical and accessible approach is woven throughout his work and the information he gives out. It's fascinating to hear how Dale has developed and continues to develop, many different strands of the business, allowing him to reach a wider audience. 

You can find Dale on Instagram and Facebook @themedicinalchef and on his website www.themedicinalchef.co.uk/

Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or via email thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 44 : Rav | Countertalk

 Creating a network for chefs, promoting fair and equal working conditions in kitchens and what it really takes to put on an event - with Rav, founder of Countertalk. 

For this episode we sat down with Rav, pastry chef and creator of Countertalk – the new platform helping to connect chefs within an equal and supportive environment. We heard about the reasons behind Rav’s decision to start the Countertalk community and why it is so important to champion new talent in the food industry in a way that is inclusive and supportive. We also discussed the careers side of the site and talked about the criteria food businesses must meet to post a job. It was really inspiring to hear the passion Rav has for placing talented chefs into the right working environments. Countertalk also runs events - from supper clubs to talks and tastings – and we chatted about all the different elements that go into to planning and running these events, while keeping them affordable. Finally we discussed Rav’s work as a pastry chef, currently at Tart London’s new space, Wild by Tart, and the different consulting roles she has taken on around London. This is a really insightful conversation, possibly our most honest yet – a must listen for anyone who’s already a part of or is thinking of becoming a part of this exciting industry. 

You can find Rav on Instagram @ravneeteats and Countertalk on Instagram @countertalk and online at www.countertalk.co.uk

You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod. Get in touch via thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, review and leave us a star rating!

Episode 43 : David | Toast Ale

Creating a product with surplus bread, tackling food waste through positive action and putting the mission for change before profits with David, Head Breadwinner at Toast Ale. 

We spoke to David from Toast Ale about all things food waste and how to tackle it. We heard how Toast are making their ale using surplus bread – leading the way in a new side of the food industry and demonstrating how a change of view about what we consider unusable food can make a big difference. In focusing on their mission over profits, they hope to spread the word about the food waste issue. Toast give all of their profits to Feedback, the charity started by Toast founder Tristram Stuart, and in doing so are making real steps towards creating systemic change. We also talked about the Toast team and heard how they are creating an ethos that sidesteps traditional hierarchy to give every member an equal voice. 

We recorded this episode at Toast bread quarters within the Bankside sustainable workspaces – there is some background noise on the episode as it’s a bustling space but it’s a great conversation so we hope you’ll bear with us! 

Find Toast at www.toastale.com or on Instagram at @toastale. Check out their Crowd Funder page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/craft-beer-can

Episode 42 : Elly | Elly Pear (Curshen)


Honing the book writing process, creating a community online and testing recipes with Elly Curshen, chef, food writer and more!  For this episode, we spoke to Elly Curshen, who's third cook book, Green, has just been published and is already finding huge success. Elly’s recipes have always been affordable, accessible and delicious and those in Green are no exception. We spoke in depth about the book writing process - how Elly has developed this and how her online community has a direct influence on what she includes in her books. Hearing about what happens after a book is published was so interesting – the promotion through food fairs, festivals and other events and, what sounds like the best part, seeing her audience recreating her recipes and sharing them with their own stories. We also talked about the other areas of work that Elly is able to give more focus to since closing her hugely successful and much loved café last September – including cookery courses and brand partnerships.

Follow Elly on Instagram or check her website to find out more.  You can find Elly on Instagram @ellypear and online at www.ellypear.com. You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod. Get in touch via thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.  If you’re enjoying the podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, review and leave us a star rating!

Episode 40 : Clem | Yoga Brunch Club

Making yoga more accessible through food, collaboration and running sell-out events with Clem, founder of Yoga Brunch Club.

We spoke to Clem, founder of Yoga Brunch Club about how she is making yoga more accessible through her beautiful and welcoming events in Bristol and London. We talk about Clem’s own journey with yoga and she shares her personal story of how she got started and how she has progressed through training to teaching to organising yoga events. It was super interesting to hear how Clem’s previous experience has influenced Yoga Brunch Club. 

Yoga Brunch Club has grown organically over the past 4 years from small events with friends in community halls to running events at Liberty, Wild by Tart and 42 Acres, to name just a few. We discuss how Clem collaborates with chefs and yoga instructors to create a totally new experience every time and the process of researching and finding exclusive new venues to host the events. 

Find Clem on Instagram @yogabrunchclub and book tickets via their website www.yogabrunchclub.com 

Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com. 

Episode 39 : Howard & Vivien | Little Moons


Manufacturing a frozen product, building a white label success into a one of a kind retail brand and creating a family business, with Howard & Vivien - co-founders of Little Moons, makers of delicious, high quality mochi. 

For this episode, we chatted to siblings and co-founders of Little Moons, Howard and Vivien. This was such an interesting and eye opening conversation, giving us insight into the highs and lows of manufacturing a product in house - and the even greater challenge of that product being frozen! We heard how Little Moons began by selling their mochi into some of the UK's best known restaurants before developing into a hugely successful retail brand - still the only producers of mochi in the UK and now being name checked on those very restaurant menus.  We also talked about the challenges of gaining space in store, how their innovative 'pick n mix' concept has been received in different markets and the importance of quality - and building a brand known for this.  There's so much to learn from this hugely inspiring episode - we suggest you listen while snacking on a mochi...or four! 

Find Little Moons on Instagram @littlemoonsmochi and via their website, www.littlemoons.co.uk. Buy them online on Ocado and Amazon or instore at Selfridges, Wholefoods and more! 

Find us on Instagram @whatscooking podcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com. 

Episode 38: Pip | Pip & Nut

Pippa Murray  Pip and Nut

Crowdfunding before launch, creating a strong brand from the outset and encouraging a new perspective on food. 

We spoke to Pip, founder of Pip & Nut, about how she went about launching a new type of nut butter. Pip & Nut create 100% natural, nutritious nut butters without palm oil. The absence of this ingredient was quite revolutionary at the time of launch and the purity of their ingredients gives the butters a luxuriously glossy finish, unlike any other on the market. We heard how Pip turned to crowdfunding to facilitate the launch and why this route has been so beneficial. We also discuss the process of building a team who shares the brand’s ethos – with some members having been with Pip & Nut since launch. Throughout this episode Pip shares so much helpful advice and learnings from their experience so far. It was amazing to hear the story behind a company that is fast becoming a household name. It sounds like there are some exciting projects in the pipeline for Pip & Nut so watch this space… 


Find Pip & Nut on Instagram @pipandnut and via their website www.pipandnut.com

Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 37 : Margie | Desert Island Dishes

Launching a top podcast, the importance of sharing accessible recipes and throwing yourself in at the deep end with Margie, creator of Desert Island Dishes, chef and food writer. 

For this episode we spoke to Margie about her hit podcast Desert Island Dishes – where the idea came from, how she got her first guest and the journey it’s taken her on so far. It was fascinating to hear about the business she has created from this and how it has led to her sharing further foodie content across her website and social media. Further to this, we discuss the importance of providing accessible recipes and kitchen tips and we hear about the origins of her popular ‘supermarket snoop’ series on Instagram. We also talked about the start of Margie’s career, working in restaurant kitchens, and how this led to work as a private caterer - which is still one of the many sides to her business today. From her first job after cookery school to starting a podcast from scratch, Margie has taken many brave steps to get to where she is. 

Find Margie on Instagram @margienomura and via her website www.desertislanddishes.co  Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 36: Melanie | Smith & Sinclair

Fulfilling a need with a new product, constant innovation and the importance of mentorship with Melanie, co-founder of Smith & Sinclair. 

We chatted to Mel about how she and co-founder Emile started their brand to fulfil a need for non-liquid alcoholic treats at their event nights and how this quickly lead to being thrown straight in to business with an order for 20,000 of their gummies! We discussed their mission to “make adult more fun” and how they have done this through their range of entirely new to market products. We also talked about the challenges of moving to a manufacturer, educating consumers, collaborating with brands to demonstrate the scope of innovation and the most important factor of all… good management. Talking to Mel was truly inspiring and she has a lot of incredible advice to impart from her experiences in business. We can’t wait to follow the next stage of Smith & Sinclair’s journey…

You can find Smith & Sinclair on Instagram @smithandsinclair or their website www.smithandsinclair.com. 

You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or send us an email thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com. 

Episode 35: Danielle | Qnola

Creating a new breakfast product, promoting through alternative methods and learning to appreciate your achievements with Danielle, founder of Qnola. 

For this episode we chatted to Danielle, founder of Qnola. Danielle created a Quinoa based cereal which began as a nutritious way to provide breakfast for herself and friends but quickly built into a successful business with premium UK and international stockists. Demand for Qnola quickly escalated and Danielle tells us how she got stuck into production straight away and worked round the clock to fulfil orders. We also discuss how the brand has evolved from deciding to trademark the name to switching suppliers to ensure a more sustainable product. We spoke about promoting the business through alternative methods such as collaborations and the importance of Instagram as a platform to reach her target audience. We also discussed the challenges of running a business alongside a successful modelling career and how Danielle has made this work. We were so inspired by this conversation and what Danielle has built almost single handedly. 

Find Qnola @qnolauk on Instagram or visit their website at www.qnola.co.uk. Find Danielle @dcopperman on Instagram and her book, Well Being, online and in stores. 

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 34: Joel | The Good Egg

Turning a pop up success into a permanent site, the challenges of  learning on the job and allowing a second site to form it's own identity  with Joel, co-founder of The Good Egg.

For  this episode, we spoke to Joel, one of three founders of neighbourhood  restaurant The Good Egg, with sites in Stoke Newington and more  recently, Soho, in London. It was fascinating to hear about the scope of  the inspiration for their menus and general vibes - from Tel Aviv and  Middle Eastern flavours to the Californian brunch scene and the delis of  New York City! We loved hearing the story of their first site - born  from their successful pop ups - and how they went about fitting out the  space and then finding their way in the opening months. We also  discussed the differences between their two spaces and how they are  forming their own identities while remaining true to the brand ethos,  with much focus on transparency and sustainability across the board. We  hope you enjoy the episode and can recommend a visit to either site as  soon as possible!

You can find The Good Egg at 93 Stoke Newington Church St, London, N16 0AS or Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW. 

You can find them on Instagram @thegoodegg_ or on their website at www.thegoodegg.co.

You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 33: Joanna | Pump Street Chocolate

Award winning packaging, scaling the production of single origin & single estate chocolate and growing a ‘retirement’ project into a destination bakery with Joanna, co-founder of Pump Street Bakery and Pump Street Chocolate. 

For this episode, we spoke to Joanna, co-founder of Pump Street Bakery and Pump Street Chocolate on becoming one of the country’s leading chocolate makers. We heard how the business started as a ‘retirement’ project for her Dad and quickly expanded after gaining an audience for their breads and pastries. After finding their 'slow food' roots in the bakery, they started to create high quality single estate chocolate. We discuss the surprising similarities between sourdough and chocolate and how that connection came full circle after developing their unique bakery bars featuring sourdough and rye crumb, amongst other inventive and perfectly paired flavours. 

As we discussed their specialism in single origin and single estate chocolate, we focused on what makes their chocolate so special. From the sourcing of their ingredients and the relationships with their farmers to the careful and methodical processes of production and finally, the beautiful packaging with distinct logo and branding. Since 2013, Pump Street have been leading the way in creating unique chocolate products made in a traditional way and without additives or fillers. 

Visit Pump Street Bakery at 1 Pump St, Orford, Woodbridge IP12 2LZ.

Find Pump Street @pumpstreetchocolate and @pumpstbakery on Instagram or visit their website at pumpstreetchocolate.com.

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 32: Alex | Social Pantry

Growing a catering business into a six site operation, employing ex-offenders and going with your gut with Alex, founder of Social Pantry.

For this episode, we sat down with Alex of Social Pantry to hear the hugely inspiring story of how she has grown her catering business into a company which now manages up to thirty events per week, has a café, kiosk, restaurant and event space. We talked about maximising what you have until your demand allows for growth, working dynamically to meet the differing requirements of contracts - from weddings to corporate lunches – and what you learn from doing everything yourself at the beginning. We also discussed Alex’s employment of ex-offenders, who make up at least 10% of her work force at any time. It was incredibly inspiring to hear about the realities of this and to understand how important it is for businesses to recruit from prisons. Alex’s attitude to her team in general is really admirable and an example of how to grow a team who will not only work hard but enjoy and excel in their roles. 

Find Social Pantry @social_pantry on Instagram or visit their website at www.socialpantry.co.uk. Social Pantry café is at 170a Lavender Hill, London. Soane’s Kitchen, Pitzhanger Manor and the kiosk are all in Walpole Park, Ealing, London.

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 31: Sarah | Made in Hackney

Building an eco-community kitchen and what that means, creating fun but educational experiences around food and adapting to the reality of the business with Sarah from Made in Hackney. 

Welcome back to The What’s Cooking Podcast! For episode 1 of season 4, we spoke to Sarah, founder of eco-community kitchen and charity Made in Hackney. Sarah has created a space where those in need can learn valuable skills in food and healthy living. In their 100% plant based kitchen, Made in Hackney offer courses to allow fun and inspiring experiences centered around cooking and eating. We learn about the early days of the business where an initial disaster turned into the community coming together and how a business plan is just an assumption and you have to adapt it constantly to stay in line with what excites people and what actually makes you money. We also spoke to Sarah about raising funds and get an insight into the emotional as well as financial highs and lows of this side of their operation. This business is truly inspiring, from their unfaltering ethical money policy to the structure of the working week around childcare and family responsibilities, Made in Hackney is doing a lot of things right! 

Find Made in Hackney @madeinhackney on Instagram or visit their website at www.madeinhackney.org for information on courses, masterclasses and events.

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 30: Saasha | Olio

Reducing food waste, encouraging a shift in mindset and developing a globally successful app with Saasha from Olio.

For our final episode of the season, we spoke to Saasha, co-founder of food sharing app, Olio. Along with her co-founder Tessa, Saasha’s mission is to help reduce the amount of food that is wasted in households and businesses through encouraging a change of habits. We heard about how they launched the app in their local community, testing the concept by starting small and using their findings to develop a resource that is helping people to share their unwanted food items with others. Not only is this helping those in need, but their initiatives are set to make a significant difference to the environmental impact of our collective food waste. Saasha also has some fantastic practical tips which can be easily implemented in our day to day. Olio is such a necessary tool and it was hugely inspirational to hear how they’ve got it to where it is today and their plans for expanding its reach further to make an even greater difference.

Find Olio @olio_ex on Instagram or visit their website atwww.olioex.com. Download the app on your app store or visit their website for the desktop version.

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 29: Abi | Le Choux

Launching a unique artisanal product into markets, Fortnums and Selfridges and the realities of working in a fast-paced, patisserie kitchen

Le Choux brings classical French patisserie to London with their unique offering of choux buns filled with a multitude of different flavours and topped with beautiful decorations. 

We spoke to Abi about how Le Choux came to life as she retells her tales of working around the clock to bring a super fresh product to market. We talk about why sourcing local ingredients is so important to Abi and discover what exactly makes a choux pastry. It’s fascinating to hear about Abi’s experiences with classical patisserie training in Paris and what it’s really like working in kitchens in London and Paris. Through these experiences, Abi has honed her craft and is keen to give back by providing internships for students in London. 

Find Abi @lechouxlondon on Instagram or lechouxlondon.com 

We are @whatscookingpod on Twitter and @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram

Episode 28: Andrew | Vanilla Black

Establishing a restaurant with no prior experience, pioneering a new approach to vegetarian cooking and staying true to core values with Andrew of Vanilla Black.

For this episode, we sat down with Andrew of pioneering vegetarian restaurant Vanilla Black. We discussed how Andrew and his wife, Donna, built the restaurant from scratch with no prior experience, first in York and later moving the business to London. We talked about the reasons behind this move and the differences in the two markets. We also heard about their unique approach to vegetarian cooking – unashamedly refusing to serve the usual risottos and ‘veggie' curry – and how they develop their menu ideas within the collaborative working environment they have created. Andrew’s open and honest account of what is involved in running a restaurant gave us a true look behind the scenes of this exciting side of the food industry. 

Find Vanilla Black @vanilla_black_uk on Instagram or visit their website at www.vanillablack.co.uk

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.

Episode 27: Will | Minor Figures

Making speciality coffee more accessible, bringing a new product to market and learning along the way with Will, one of the co-founders of Minor Figures.

We chatted to Will, one of three co-founders of coffee company Minor Figures. Selling cold brew coffee in cans, oat milk and a chai mix, Minor Figures' mission is to break down the wall of what people think of as speciality coffee…making it less exclusive through understanding and availability. We discussed scaling up production when there is no manual – creating a product on a large scale in a different way to what’s been done before. We also talked about branding and their approach to marketing which focuses on allowing the product to speak for itself and be just about delicious coffee. We were inspired by their total belief in the business and their product development and hope you find the episode informative and interesting. 

Find Minor Figures @minorfigures on Instagram or visit their website at www.minorfigures.com

Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail.com.