There are no subjects nor individuals that are off-limits when it comes to a Ceres podcast.
Launched as a way of introducing listeners to a wide range of interesting, intriguing and quirky characters and topics from across the hospitality sector, the Ceres podcasts have been extremely well received with people listening whilst driving, cutting their fish in the morning or doing their daily prep.
“We’ve spoken to Andrew Crook from the NFFF, we’re going to talk to someone from AHDB Potatoes, someone from Seafish and the MSC. If they’re willing to give up their time, we’ll travel to see them and get it done,” Stelios explains.
As you are all probably aware, Stelios likes his fish and chips yet, when asked by a listener who serves up the best, he suddenly becomes very tight-lipped. Not because he’s worried about upsetting anyone but because, in his opinion, “the best” can mean so many things. However, he will cite a few favourites from the well-known Magpie Cafe in Whitby, Yorkshire, to a small, yet to be discovered takeaway in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, called Y-Pas Chippy.
“I think that it’s really important to not judge a book by its cover because I think the word ‘best’ covers so many different things. There’s great takeaways, great restaurants, so I wouldn’t just apply it to one fish and chip shop,” he comments.
When asked by another follower what he envisages will be the next big thing for fish and chips, Stelios replies quite simply “great fish and chips”, but what does this mean?
“I know that sounds silly, but it’s actually pretty true,” he explains. “Customers now are wanting the best for their money, whatever it is. And I think the way to do that sometimes is to be niche. You can’t do everything, it’s physically impossible. And you can’t do everything great.
“So, rather than going broader, bring it in and make it more niche.”
When he’s not out recording podcasts or travelling the UK helping shops perfect their batter, mushy peas or gravy, you’ll most likely find Stelios reading a good book or with his headphones on, taking in a podcast himself. So what does he recommend as good reading and listening material?
“I listen to a lot of podcasts because I’m on the road a lot, and I would recommend Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner. It’s a really good podcast that makes you think about the hidden aspects of decisions that are made or even the consequences of something that happened.”
And if you want to bury your head in a book, Stelios suggests grabbing a copy of Grinding It Out by Ray Kroc, the founder and business brains behind fast food giant McDonald’s.
“I read it a lot, and over and over again when I had the fish and chip shop when I worked for my dad… it should be a good book to start on if you’re in the food industry.”
Listen to the full podcast with Stelios free today and find out his views on Brexit along with which frying medium he recommends.
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