GT – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Every day is different, but almost always involves consuming something tasty! It could be developing a new cocktail concept; researching and recipe development for my occasional food trends appearance on Channel 4 Sunday Brunch; or ducking into somewhere exciting for lunch in between meetings. As a general rule, I always plan to eat something interesting every day and probably spend far too much time musing over restaurant menus.
GT – Who’s inspired you most in your career?
Coming from one of the UK’s most respected spice merchant families, dating back to the 1960’s, their considerable achievements have hugely shaped my career. Like so many fledgling immigrant businesses, they started out with no money and the hunger to carve out a better life for themselves. With the benefit of a proper education and industry experience, my objective is to at least match what they have achieved. Anything less would feel like failure.
GT – If you were an item in a supermarket, what would you be?
There are far too many special offers in supermarkets that have distorted the true cost of food in the consumer’s mind, so I’d be the pricing gun to ensure items are more realistically priced.
GT – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?
As with most start-ups, human resources are limited. Due to my career background, my main focus was around marketing, so I would have probably spent more time around financial planning.
GT – What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?
Fairly recently, forgetting the name of one of my dishes on live TV. I’m sure my hangover had nothing to do with it!
GT – Who or what makes you laugh?
I’ve just had a baby and she provides endless moments of humour.
GT – Who would be your favourite party guest?
I hugely admired the late AA Gill and Michael Winner, both for their wit, entertaining stories and irreverent yet knowledgeable approach to food, so it would have been a dream to have them both at my dinner table.
GT – What is the greatest luxury in your life?
Food and drink. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t enjoy something new or exciting.
GT – What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
I literally find it impossible to refuse fried chicken and the Lamington Doughnut by Crosstown with a Sandows Nitro Coldbrew is my secret indulgence – probably something i have once or twice a week.
GT – Do you have any secret ambitions?
I’d love to be in a position to be able to run my business from the South of Spain.
GT – What’s your dream holiday destination?
Find a quiet beach in Goa to relax with a beer, grilled lobster and a good book.
GT – What are your three favourite movies of all time?
I’ve got a pretty questionable taste in movies, generally sticking to superheroes and romcoms so i think this answer is best left unanswered!
GT – What is your favourite book of all time?
Again, my questionable taste continues, so I’ll probably go with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
GT – What’s your favourite pastime?
GT – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?
Much to the annoyance of my wife, my hyperactive nature means that I’d probably spend most of it on another business idea instead of putting my feet up and enjoying the money!
GT –What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?
Have Conviction. Whilst it’s great to see a burgeoning speciality food and drink sector, I’ve seen far too many fair-weather producers. Trust me, nothing tests your conviction more than when you’ve spent three cold and drizzly months running your market stall for next to no money, especially after quitting a pretty lucrative former career!
WORLD OF ZING
Having launched in 2014 from a market stall in London, World of Zing has quickly become recognised amongst the UK’s most innovative food & drink businesses. From an award-winning Craft Bottled Cocktail Range, produced in collaboration with some of the world’s most famous spirits businesses, including Diageo Reserve; to an exciting range of hot sauces made using rare chillies and on-trend ingredients, World of Zing is aimed at a new generation of foodies who will influence the shopping baskets of tomorrow. Our products are now found at many of the UK’s leading speciality retailers, including over 40 SKUs listed at Whole Foods, as well as a distribution deal with Cotswold Fayre.
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