As a child I wanted to be a chef as I had a real interest in food, but that wasn’t a choice for me as I was expected to go into the family fish and chip business. In 1999, after finishing school, I did just that and joined the family shop based in Nuneaton, although I was helping out way before that.
Using prime fish and locally grown potatoes on a daily basis, it stoked something within me to find cleaner, more natural products to use with them. Most, if not all, of the batters available at that time had a lot of artificial flavours and colourings in them. I saw a gap in the market for batters and coatings that didn’t have any of this junk and in 2007 I founded The Batter Company. Our first product was a natural batter, free of artificial flavours and colourings.
In 2014, we rebranded to Ceres Pure Food Innovation. This was because we had launched many new products including fishcake mix, curry sauces, gravy mixes and not to forget our clean label, gluten-free range with tv chef Phil Vickery.
Notable fish and chip restaurants that we supply include Chez Fred in Bournemouth, The Magpie Cafe in Whitby and George’s Tradition Group, which are all considered to be the finest fish and chip shops in the UK.
We also supply many other standout restaurants and food to go outlets such as The Ivy, Fullers Smith and Turner, Loungers Group and George’s Kitchen.
Professionally, I enjoy technical challenges, especially when it comes to coatings and batters. I love reformulating recipes, creating new products and finding ways to elevate our customers’ food to the next level. Most recently we have had a lot of fun and success working with spice blends for clients to develop new flavour profiles for today’s discerning customers.
While my first love is food, my second is educating people so in the early days we used to blog a lot. Then last year we enhanced this by starting a YouTube channel. Recently, we went one step further and launched a podcast channel with high profile guests including Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, Loren Hiller, commercial officer at MSC, and Cornwall-based chef and restaurateur Nathan Outlaw. We have always wanted to educate people who chose to take the journey with us, and the podcast channel is the best way to do this.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a strong year for us, we launched several new products, we grew the team to four people and we have plans to further strengthen the foundations of the business.
On a personal side, I am married with two children. You can generally find me creating a mess in the kitchen, whether that’s a development kitchen or my home kitchen. And when I’m not cooking, I enjoy photography – food photography, naturally!