The What's Cooking Podcast

Episode 41 : Maxine | Polka Pants

An episode of The What's Cooking Podcast

By Elizabeth Kerr and Kat Wood
Beth and Kat are two lovers of all things food who bring you weekly insights into the adventures of fellow epicureans and their businesses. Focusing on the journey and not the destination, they will explore what gets their guests out of bed in the morning and what life looks like when you’re starting from scratch in this competitive sector.
More places to listen

More places to listen

Episode 52: Nikki | City Harvest
For this episode, we chatted to Nikki, COO of City Harvest. City Harvest are a London-based charity who redistribute surplus food to over 300 organisations, food banks and charities every single week.  We debunk the myth that surplus food is only for the homeless. 1 in 4 Londoners are dealing with food poverty and City Harvest are acting as a crucial connection between retailers and the organisations who are feeding the hungry. Nikki talks us through the story of City Harvest so far; starting with 1 van and three passionate individuals, the small team have built the organisation to an enormous scale - at the time of writing they rescue and deliver 70,000 meals every week. Having reached this milestone in such a short space of time, City Harvest are working to restructure and expand the operation so they can meet ever increasing demand. Recently appointed to the role as COO, Nikki brings with her a wealth of experience in the food sector and we discuss how she is channelling this into her new role. City Harvest totally relies on funding for their operation - they receive food donations and distribute at no cost to the organisations that are receiving the food. We chat about the different types of funding they receive including one funny story about an enormous cheque from Metallica! There's a real buzz around City Harvest and the work that they do. We chat about the charm of City Harvest, how it draws individuals in who stay committed to working, volunteering and going the extra mile to ensure everyone hears about them. We recorded this episode in the summer and City Harvest had just hit a huge milestone of 6 million meals donated. We are now just a few months on and they have just celebrated their 7 millionth meal! This just goes to show the huge difference they are making and how rapidly they are growing.  Find City Harvest on Instagram @cityharvestlondon or via their website where you can find out more about donating and volunteering.
October 15, 2019
Episode 51: Damian & Natalia | Form Nutrition
For our first episode of season 6, we spoke to the founders of Form Nutrition - Damian and Natalia. Form provide products to support holistic nutrition for body and mind – all plant based and backed by scientific research. The company was launched to fill a need for a different kind of nutrition brand and through their design-led branding, strong research based content and an obvious love of what they do, Damian and Natalia give a high quality, functional, great-tasting product. We discussed Form’s charitable actions, environmentally friendly packaging and their desire to offer a solution with positive value – not just highlighting a problem but creating a way to solve it. We also spoke about the different uses of their protein range and about nootropics – the other side to the Form product offering. This conversation was inspiring, insightful and endlessly interesting – we hope you learn as much as we did!  Find Form Nutrition on Instagram @formnutrition or via their website  Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or drop us an email:  
October 8, 2019
Episode 50: Grace | SpiceBox
Growing a high impact business, drawing on Silicon Valley experience and foreseeing a new way of eating with Grace, founder of Spice Box.   For our final episode of the season and our fiftieth episode, we spoke to Grace, founder of SpiceBox. SpiceBox serve delicious, innovative food that “happens to be vegan.” Starting out selling from her front door, Grace has grown SpiceBox to a Walthamstow restaurant which serves brunch, lunch and dinner on site as well as delicious take aways - made all the better using their reusable Tiffin tins. We heard about Grace’s previous experience running a tech company in Silicon Valley and how she has drawn on these experiences to create a business focused on both micro and macro goals. Grace also told us about the sustainable thread that runs through the business and the nuances of becoming and staying environmentally friendly. We really hope you enjoy this final episode of season 5! Find SpiceBox on Instagram @eatspicebox and on their website Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us on
July 29, 2019
Episode 49: Adam | JARR Kombucha
Demystifying kombucha, the learning curve of scaling up and building a business with friends - with Adam, co-founder of JARR Kombucha. For the penultimate episode of the season, we spoke to Adam - co–founder of JARR Kombucha. JARR are an East London based kombucha brewery who have based their business around creativity, connection and innovation. They create delicious kombucha in their classic flavours – original, passion fruit, ginger and recently launched raspberry – along with collaborations which allow them to further explore the possibilities of this amazing fermented tea. We discussed the benefits of building a business with your friends and the trust that goes along with this, as well as the importance of splitting roles between co-founders to play to the strengths of each team member. We also talked about the challenges of scaling up, finding the right investment partner and the thinking behind their toned back packaging and their journey of creating a new identity for kombucha within this growing category. Find JARR on Instagram @jarrkombucha and on their website Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us on
July 23, 2019
Episode 48 : Dixie | Aphrodite's Food
 Street food, supperclubs and launching a product with Dixie - chef and creator of Aphrodite’s Food For this episode we spoke to Dixie about her seriously impressive experience within the food industry. From growing up around artisan food at an early age to moving to London and starting a course at a catering college, Dixie has so many interesting stories to share from her career so far. A refreshingly honest insight into the highs and lows of working within food, we talk about the different avenues she has explored within the industry. We spoke about how her innovative pomegranate ketchup came to be, the process for designing the beautiful packaging, and the decision to keep the production at a small scale. Dixie also talks us through her experience on The Taste - a TV programme where chefs design the ultimate tasting spoon for Anthony Bordain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. This episode is packed full of stories as we also hear about working in street food, starting a supperclub and we learn more about the projects Dixie is currently focusing on.   You can find Dixie on Instagram @aphroditesfood and on her website   Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or via email
July 15, 2019
Episode 47: Jenny | Rubies in the Rubble
Raising awareness of food waste, creating value from surplus and what it takes to run a crowdfunding campaign, with Jenny - founder of Rubies in the Rubble. For this episode, we sat down with Jenny, founder of Rubies in The Rubble – makers of “condiments with a conscience.” Rubies in the Rubble make delicious relishes, mayos and ketchup from ingredients which would otherwise be wasted. We heard about Jenny’s no fear approach - starting the business through her passion for raising awareness of the amount of food being wasted everyday and not being afraid of what people thought of her decisions. We also talked about their crowdfunding campaign, which was in full swing at the time of recording and ended considerably above target. We learned about the hard work and preparation that goes into a crowdfunding campaign and that it’s definitely not as easy as it sometimes appears. Jenny has been getting people to think about food in a different way since launching and continues to do so with all her products, celebrating food and taste.  Find Rubies in the Rubble on Instagram @rubiesintherubble or online at  Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast on Twitter @whatscookingpod or via email
July 9, 2019
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 Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or via email
July 2, 2019
Episode 45: Saliha | Saliha Mahmood Ahmed
Winning MasterChef, writing a book and campaigning for better NHS meals with Saliha - cook, NHS doctor and author of new book Khazana. For this episode we spoke to Saliha about her experience as a contestant, and eventual winner, of MasterChef UK - we talked about the parallels between working in a high pressure kitchen and working as an NHS doctor and discussed how she balanced the two commitments during filming, alongside her family life. We also heard about her campaign for better NHS meals and better hydration in hospitals - why this is so necessary and what her plans are for bringing it to the forefront. Saliha talks about the amazing platform that MasterChef has given her and why she felt it so important to create a name for herself within the food industry to assist with her mission for change. Saliha also told us all about her book writing process - how the deal came about and the story behind Khazana.  You can find Saliha on Instagram @salihacooks and on her website Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or via email
June 25, 2019
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  You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod. Get in touch via  If you’re enjoying the podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, review and leave us a star rating!
June 18, 2019
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 or on Instagram at @toastale. Check out their Crowd Funder page at Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or drop us a line on 
June 11, 2019
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 You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod. Get in touch via  If you’re enjoying the podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, review and leave us a star rating!
June 3, 2019
Episode 41 : Maxine | Polka Pants
 Creating practical and stylish chef trousers for women, creating a pattern that fixes the issues with current options – drawing on personal experience - and keeping production in the UK with Maxine, founder of Polka Pants.  Welcome back to The What’s Cooking Podcast, series FIVE!! We are delighted to be back with our first episode where we spoke to Maxine, founder of Polka Pants. Polka Pants create chef trousers for women which offer a practical and stylish solution to the issues that arise when female chefs wear trousers designed for men! We heard how Maxine’s personal experiences in professional kitchens lead her to start thinking about whether there should be another option for women working in the food industry. Using the design skills she’d developed while studying fashion, Maxine produced the pattern for Polka Pants and, after moving to London to prove her concept, the company received rave reviews from chefs in the city. Produced in London, Polka Pants are now sold all over the UK, US and beyond… You can find Polka Pants on Instagram @polkapants_ and online at You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod. Get in touch via  If you’re enjoying the podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, review and leave us a star rating!
May 27, 2019
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   Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or drop us an email on 
March 5, 2019
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, 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 
February 26, 2019
Episode 38 : Pip | Pip & 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 Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us
February 19, 2019
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  Find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us
February 12, 2019
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  You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or send us an email 
February 5, 2019
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 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
January 29, 2019
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 You can find us on Instagram @whatscookingpodcast, on Twitter @whatscookingpod or email us on
January 22, 2019
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 Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
January 15, 2019
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 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@gm
January 8, 2019
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 for information on courses, masterclasses and events. Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
January 1, 2019
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 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 expansion
September 17, 2018
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 We are @whatscookingpod on Twitter, @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram
September 10, 2018
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
September 3, 2018
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 Find us @whatscookingpodcast
August 28, 2018
Episode 26: Melissa & Leo | Modern Baker
Discovering a new way to bake, proving a concept and taking a scientific approach to healthy eating with Melissa and Leo from Modern Baker. For this episode we spoke to Melissa and Leo, founders of Modern Baker - the Oxford based company who are discovering a new way to bake through their scientific approach to healthy eating, with extensive research and development at its core. We learnt how, after Melissa’s breast cancer diagnosis, they changed their diets and this in turn led to the start of their journey in creating Modern Baker. We discussed their concept café and how this has helped them to gain funding, the process they went through to create their book and how their future plans will help create further change in the food industry. We were completely blown away by how much Melissa and Leo have achieved in just three years and left the conversation inspired and fascinated by all we had discussed.  Find Modern Baker @modernbaker on Instagram
August 22, 2018
Episode 25: Tom | TRIBE
Turning a passion into a business, creating a community and the power of the cause with Tom, one of three co-founders of sports nutrition specialists, TRIBE. We sat down with Tom, one of three co-founders of sports nutrition company, TRIBE. Co-founders Tom, Rob and Guy turned a shared love of running into a successful sports nutrition business, selling energy bars, trail mixes, hydrate drinks and more to the running community. They have since expanded to include various other sporting disciplines including cycling and triathlon. Tribe are, however, so much more than the products they sell. They have created an incredible community through their organised events and charitable actions. Since their first ‘Run for Love,’ they have recently founded their own foundation, raising over £100,000 to help fight human trafficking in the last 12 months. We hope you find their story as inspiring as we did. Find TRIBE @the_tribe_way on Instagram or visit their website at Find us
August 13, 2018
Episode 24: Henrietta | Henrietta Inman
Natural baking, book deals and adapting formal patisserie training to create delicious nourishing recipes with Henrietta Inman.  We chatted to super talented pastry chef, cookery teacher and author Henrietta Inman about her two beautiful recipe books – each showcasing her personal take on baking using natural and nourishing ingredients. We loved hearing how Henrietta used her formal training and techniques to create a new style of baking with delicious wholegrains, brown sugars and seasonal ingredients. It was really interesting to hear about the process for each of the books and how they differ. We also learned about Henrietta’s multiple talents within the food world – involved with supper clubs, popups, charities, cookery schools and more (!) we cannot wait to see what she does next! Find Henrietta @henriettainman on Instagram or visit her website at  Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscook
August 7, 2018
Episode 23: Ed & Rich | Doisy & Dam
Superfood chocolate, creating a socially responsible company and bridging the gap between mass market and artisan with Ed & Rich, co-founders of Doisy & Dam. We spoke to Ed and Rich, co-founders of superfood chocolate brand Doisy & Dam. We discussed their innovative flavours, how they’ve set out to create a socially responsible company with a fully traceable supply chain and bridging the gap between mass market chocolate companies and artisan makers. Stocked in Sainsburys, Ocado, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and MANY more, they have quickly built a challenger brand out of a passion for chocolate and a healthier lifestyle.  Find Doisy & Dam @doisyanddam on Instagram or visit their website at  Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
July 31, 2018
Episode 22: Deepa | Besococo
Mastering a challenging raw material, utilising creativity in business and being a positive role model with Deepa, creator of traditional Belgian chocolates featuring seasonal flavour profiles…as well as a few classics! For this episode, we sat down with Deepa from Besococo. Deepa makes beautiful Belgian chocolates in the traditional way but with many surprising seasonal flavours. We discussed the art of mastering such a challenging raw material, utilising her creative background and how she has created a work-life balance that allows her to be a positive role model for her children while working hard from home. We also talked about the production process involved with Deepa’s business and heard some very good advice about defining what your are setting out to do within your venture. Find Deepa @besococo on Instagram or get in touch on Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingpodcast@gmail
July 27, 2018
Episode 21: Annie & Jonny | Spoon Cereals
Turning a passion project (very quickly) into a business, taking opportunities to mould your brand along the way and crowd funding for investment with Annie and Jonny, co-founders of Spoon Cereals – producers of delicious granola and muesli with the mission of ‘making breakfast better.' For the first episode of our third season, we are seriously excited to share our conversation with Annie and Jonny, co-founders of Spoon Cereals – producers of delicious granola and muesli with the mission of ‘making breakfast better.’ We spoke to them about how they’ve grown their business from what was essentially a passion project, into a hugely successful challenger brand, with their delicious granola and mueslis stocked everywhere, from Waitrose and Whole Foods to Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and countless delis.  We were hugely inspired by their attitude to the business – throwing themselves straight in and taking every opportunity in order to build the brand in a way that was directly informed by
July 24, 2018
Episode 20: Tessa | Tessa Stuart
Developing a new research technique, helping brands understand their market and creating with confidence with Tessa Stuart, in-store researcher, business consultant and best-selling author.  Episode note: For the last episode of our second season, we were honoured to sit down with Tessa Stuart, in-store researcher, business consultant and author of two 5 star Amazon bestselling books - ‘Packed’ and ‘Flying off the Shelves.’ Tessa has worked with countless brands, helping them to understand their market and working alongside them to create messaging that really stands out. We discussed the importance of confidence in such a crowded market place and what it takes to reach the right people…and keep reading them! We were so interested to hear how Tessa’s pioneering technique of in-store research came about and what she has learnt on her journey to where her business is today. Tessa’s books are essential reading for any food or drink brand and this episode is not to be missed!  Find
April 17, 2018
Episode 19: Mary | Onist Food
Staying true to your core values, working with investors and overcoming production challenges with Mary, creator of Onist Food. For this episode, we sat down with Mary, founder of Onist Food, creators of ‘the healthy avocado chocolate pot’ stocked at Fortnums, Whole Foods, Abel & Cole, Planet Organic and more!! We talked about the challenges faced in producing a chilled product with a short shelf life and the solutions Mary and her team have found to overcome them. We also discussed the importance of staying true to your brand’s core values and making sure these are a consideration in everything you do. Onist operates on a ‘buy one, give one’ initiative where they donate a breakfast to a child in The Gambia for every pot sold. We were so impressed to learn of the success of this charitable action and hear about Mary’s plans for future projects and really admired her honesty in discussing the mutual benefits of working with a charity.  Find Mary @onist_food on Instagram and through
April 9, 2018
Episode 18: Arthur & Tas | Brother Marcus
Provenance and short food mileage, building a successful team and learning to balance a new business with other elements of life with Arthur & Tas, two co-founders of Brother Marcus, the Balham café serving deliciously innovative brunch menus and hosting equally exciting supperclubs.  We chatted to Arthur and Tas, two of the founders of Balham café, Brother Marcus, who serve deliciously innovative brunch dishes seven days a week. We discussed what it takes to open a café on a small budget, taking on multiple roles within the business and the challenges of building a team who share your ethos and enthusiasm. We also talked about the importance of provenance, building relationships with your suppliers and using seasonal, short mileage produce. It was also really interesting to hear about the supperclubs they hold, including the fantastic support their guest chefs receive throughout the process. Listen to the end for an exciting announcement!  Find Brother Marcus @brothermarcus_ on Inst
April 3, 2018
Episode 17: Meredith | Food at Heart
The power of chocolate, the importance of slowing down and manageable ways to incorporate mediation into every day with Meredith from Food at Heart.  We discuss all things chocolate and meditation with Meredith from Food at Heart - from the importance of slowing down to manageable ways of incorporating meditation into your daily life and the positive effect this can have. We also delve into the fascinating world of chocolate and learning to taste it properly. Who knew chocolate has more flavour molecules than wine or coffee?! We also talked about recognising your achievements - a theme that keeps occurring in our conversations and couldn’t be more important for those running a business. Find Meredith @meredith_foodatheart on Instagram and on her website\ Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us a email at
March 27, 2018
Episode 16: Joey | High Mood Food
The power of fermentation, balancing high and low energy tasks and recognising your achievements with Joey, co-founder of High Mood Food, the London café offering delicious gut-friendly dishes. For this episode, we chatted to Joey, co-founder of High Mood Food, the London café offering delicious gut-friendly dishes. It was fascinating to learn about the power of fermentation and creating complex flavour profiles from veg-centric cooking, as well as discussing the concept of veg-centric cooking and why it’s more inclusive than other dietary choices. We also heard how Joey balances high and low energy tasks – allowing the former to feed her motivation! Another part of our discussion was around the importance of stopping and recognising your achievements, especially when there may not be an end in sight. This was such an interesting conversation both around the food itself and Joey’s experiences so far in bringing it to the customers at High. We recommend making it a priority to visit 
March 20, 2018
Episode 15: Hugh | Ugly Drinks
Disrupting the market, taking time over decisions and creating an opportunity from obstacles with Hugh, co-founder of Ugly Drinks, creators of 100% natural flavoured sparkling water. We sat down with Hugh, co-founder of Ugly Drinks – the sugar and sweetener free, flavoured sparkling water brand who are disrupting the drinks industry one can at a time! We talked to Hugh about the importance of taking time over decisions – especially when it comes to branding and design. We also spoke about recognising a shift in consumer behaviour and giving them the opportunity to make an informed choice about what they are drinking, nurturing a sustainable culture within the brand and working with other creative people and allowing their input to create something new and exciting. Oh…AND the imminent launch of Ugly in the US and the exciting developments this will bring. There is SO much wisdom in this episode, drawn from Hugh’s incredible wealth of experience in the industry
March 13, 2018
Episode 14: Rebecca | Rock My Bowl
The importance of branding, trusting in a strong support network and learning to say ‘no’ with Rebecca from gourmet breakfast and lunch popup, Rock My Bowl In conversation with Rebecca from gourmet breakfast and lunch popup, Rock My Bowl, we discussed the power of a cohesive brand identity, creating flavours that really stand out and the importance of having a trusted support network to turn to when things get tough. We also talked about how we must all learn to say ‘no’ to things that don’t serve us. Rebecca’s honesty about her journey so far and the way her brand has grown since launching really inspired us – there’s a wealth of advice and information on the different sides of her business from markets to popups and balancing being a parent with running a business. Find Rebecca @rockmybowl on Instagram and through her website at Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
March 6, 2018
Episode 13: Mira | Mira Manek
Organically growing a business, the benefits of supper clubs and changing the perception of Indian food with Mira Manek. In this episode, we sat down with Mira Manek – chef, author and entrepreneur to hear about how she has grown a business organically through doing what she loves. Mira is changing the perception of Indian food through her nutritious recipes, now available in her first book Saffron Soul. We discussed how she is making Indian food more accessible to all by focusing on the flavour and nutritional properties of spices within her dishes. We also heard about her incredibly successful supper clubs – the process behind these and why she feels the concept is important. Mira has drawn on the wealth of information on Indian food which is available to her through her family and we talked about the importance of learning like this and why it might be the greatest form of cookery school! Find Mira on Instagram @miramanek and through her website at 
February 27, 2018
Episode 12: Dana | Arganic
Building a sustainable and ethical business with passion and dedication, achieving work life balance and creating a premium product.  We talked to Dana from Arganic, purveyors of 100% organic, single origin Argan Oil – both culinary and cosmetic. We heard about the passion and research it takes to create a high quality product that works and tastes delicious (it has three Great Taste stars!). We discuss the importance of a sustainable business model, how our choices in both food and beauty have a bigger impact than we might think and the process of building lasting business relationships. We also hear how Dana has figured out a balance in her life between running a business and keeping herself well. We learnt so much through Dana’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for what she is doing – a very inspirational episode.
February 20, 2018
Episode 11: Rupy | The Doctor's Kitchen
The power of nutrition, growing a business out of passion and wellbeing advice with Rupy from The Doctor’s Kitchen, helping everyone to live happier, healthier lives through food and lifestyle medicine We’re so excited to be back and for our first episode of series two, we talk to Rupy from The Doctor’s Kitchen about how he inadvertently grew a business out of a real passion for helping his patients (and his growing following) to live healthier, happier lives through food and lifestyle medicine. We discuss the power of nutrition and the importance of making the right information accessible to all, how he got started through self-produced YouTube videos and Instagram and, perhaps most importantly, how he plans to change the education around nutrition for doctors studying and practising medicine. We also talk about his new book and accompanying podcast, full of delicious fad-free recipes, a wealth of lifestyle tips and easy to absorb nutritional facts. They both come highly recommended
February 13, 2018
Episode 10: Beth & Kat | The What's Cooking Podcast
Looking back on series 1, how we got started and our personal influences with us (Beth & Kat) of EK Bakery, Kat Bakes London and of course, The What’s Cooking Podcast!  It’s the final episode of series 1 so we decided to take a look back on some of our favourite moments of the podcast. We’ve had the most incredible experiences and been overwhelmed by the honesty and advice imparted by all our guests. We also quiz each other on our own businesses and talk about how and why we got started. We hope you enjoy this slightly different episode and find it interesting getting to know us a bit better!  Find Beth @ekbakery on Instagram and her website at  Find Kat @katbakeslondon on Instagram and her website Find us both @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
January 2, 2018
Episode 9: Safia | Dear Safia
Being fearless and developing style and a love of food through travel with baker, photographer, food stylist and writer, Safia We talk to Safia about the multitude of roles within the career she has carved out for herself. We ask what it’s like starting out in the food industry, the difficulties of finding balance when you’re managing an array of projects and hear about some of the huge projects she’s worked on, including an edible rainbow wall! It was interesting to hear how Safia found connection with food and how travel has influenced her work and style. We loved hearing about Safia’s family history in sweets and and learning more about the flavours and ingredients which are prominent in her baking. Find Safia @dearsafia on Instagram and her website at You can chat wiith us @whatscookingpod on Twitter, @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram or drop us an email to
December 26, 2017
Episode 8: Chloë | Nibs etc.
Reducing food waste, balancing business with other pursuits and silencing your inner critic with Chloë from pioneering food brand, Nibs etc.  We talk to Chloë from Nibs etc. about what sparked her innovative brand and how she developed a creative and delicious range around a 'waste' product. We discuss how your biggest obstacle can be yourself and how to silence that inner critic and just go for it. Chloë also has great advice on the art of balancing business with other pursuits to ensure you don’t push yourself too far. This is only the beginning for Chloë – hear what’s happening next and all her plans for the future of the company and how it can continue to make a difference... Find Chloë @nibsetc on Instagram and her website at Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
December 19, 2017
Episode 7: Hedie | Husk and Honey Granola
Working with family, taking on responsibility and keeping motivated with Hedie from award-winning, premium granola company Husk & Honey. We discuss how Hedie took her passion for a fresh, premium product and turned it into an award-winning family business, stocked all over London and beyond! We hear about the many benefits of working with family, taking on responsibility and multiple roles within the company and how Hedie keeps herself motivated whilst running this hugely successful company with her sister, Verity. There’s some great advice for anyone thinking of starting a food business too… *We have an exclusive offer from Husk & Honey for all our listeners, so check out our Instagram for details!* Find Hedie @huskandhoneygranola on Instagram and her website at Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
December 12, 2017
Episode 6: Ama | Lucocoa Chocolate
Interpreting customer feedback, balancing two full time jobs and being part of the chocolate revolution with Ama from bean to bar chocolate makers, Lucocoa.  We sat down with Ama from Lucocoa Chocolate to discuss how she gets her bean to bar chocolate out into the world. We hear about what it takes to grow a company whilst working full time, being smart about interpreting customer feedback and standing at the forefront of London’s chocolate revolution…it’s coming! It was so inspiring to talk to Ama about the process of bean to bar and how this is beginning to change the way people see (and taste) chocolate. We were also lucky enough to get a peek inside her chocolate factory to witness this in action - it’s very impressive! Find Ama @lucocoachocolate on Instagram and her website at  You can find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
December 5, 2017
Episode 5: Ali & Chloe | Health is Wealth
Approaching corporate clients, the benefits of a business partner and keeping well at work. We talk to Ali and Chloe, founders of corporate wellness company, Health is Wealth, and discuss their vision for the future of healthcare within the workplace. We learn about how they overhaul their clients’ nutrition and lifestyle habits to create a workforce that is healthier, happier and more productive. It was great to hear how they’ve built their company in the past year and evolved with it to create a very important service for both companies and individuals. There is so much incredible advice for staying well whilst living a busy lifestyle – whether you’re working for a big bustling company or at home for yourself. We also discuss the benefits of having a business partner (they make a good case!) and learn more about approaching potential business in the corporate world. Find Ali and Chloe @hiwgroup on Instagram and their website at Find us @whatscookingpo
November 28, 2017
Episode 4: Emily | Weligama
The importance of taking every opportunity, developing a new style of cooking using local seasonal produce from the UK with flavour principles from Sri Lanka and the journey of personal development that creating Weligama, the book, has taken Emily on. We sit down with Emily from Weligama to discuss the process of creating her new book WELIGAMA – Recipes from Sri Lanka, which launched last week!! It was so exciting to hear all about how she developed a new style of cuisine, mixing local seasonal produce from the UK with flavour principles she learned in Sri Lanka. We also talked about running a market stall, doing what scares you and how writing the book became a journey of personal development. There are also some great tips for cooking the perfect curry and where to find specialist ingredients. Find Emily @weligama_ldn on Instagram and her website at Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on thewhatscookingp
November 24, 2017
Episode 3: Izy | Top with Cinnamon
Books deals, photography skills and kitchen cheats with Izy Hossack, creator of popular blog Top with Cinnamon.  We delve into the various sides to Izy, including author, photographer, stylist and student! We discuss how she honed her photography and styling skills, the different processes involved in securing a book deal and what influences her delicious recipes. We also hear some of Izy's best kitchen cheats…trust us, they’re good!  Find Izy @izyhossack on Instagram and her blog at Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email on
November 22, 2017
Episode 2: Ryan | Borough 22
Building a successful business with Borough 22, creators of vegan and & gluten free doughnuts We sat down with Ryan from Borough 22, London's first vegan and gluten free doughnut company. Stocked in Selfridges, Planet Organic and myriads of cafés and delis around London, these delicious treats are taking over! We discuss the huge impact social media can have on a new business, the highs and lows of running your own company and how to find that all important balance between work and home. Find Ryan @borough22 on Instagram. Find us @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter. Drop us an email at
November 15, 2017
Episode 1: Noreen | MyBaker
Applying for funding, being willing to adapt your idea and how to build your business using social media. We talk to Noreen from MyBaker, the online platform connecting talented bakers with customers requiring baked treats. We discuss how she went about securing funding for the business, the hardest things about being a business owner and how she utilises social media to create and expand her audience.  Find MyBaker on Instagram and @mybaker_co on Twitter. Find us at @whatscookingpodcast on Instagram and @whatscookingpod on Twitter
November 9, 2017
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