How did you get into doing pop ups?
I decided that I didn't want to be cooking food under orders from other chefs anymore and became fascinated with new ideas and cooking techniques. I felt somewhat limited by the rules and regulations in certain kitchens so the pop-up dinners give me a sense of freedom and imagination for the food style that I want to create and love doing. We have a micro brewery as well so it gives us a great opportunity to showcase our beers to the public and allow them to see how they can be paired deliciously with food. Pop-ups are a great opportunity to showcase cooks and bartenders that the public are not aware of and allow a great buzz for meeting new people and making new connections in the industry.
Tell us about your current or most recent pop up.
Our most recent pop up was an 8 course snack menu involving wild ingredients paired with our craft beers at soho farmhouse. Our next pop up will be an 8 course dinner paired with our craft beer and unique cocktails on the 25th and 26th February. Please click here for more info http://earthaleeight.brownpapertickets.com/
What has been your biggest challenge? Biggest reward?
Biggest challenge is getting literally everything all ready and organised for the evening. There was only 3 of us to start off with - myself, my older brother Jamie and younger brother Cosmo. So it's like a mad house organising the venue, drinks, equipment, food prep, staff etc…the list is endless attachment-1.png The biggest reward is seeing the faces at the end of the night and managing to complete the night as planned. In the new year we happily welcomed Emma to the Earth Ale team who is an absolute crux for our business. Having Emma on board so far has allowed Earth Ale to drive towards there plans more efficiently and build a strong direction for what we are wanting to achieve, fluent in languages as well which is a great asset for our summer plans..stay tuned ;)
How long have you been doing pop ups?
We have been doing Pop ups since July 2015 and currently do a two day event once a month. We intend to do them more frequently once the public are more aware of us.
What were you doing before?
I've been cooking in kitchens for the last 9 years around London and different parts of the world that have inspired me on many levels. With that I then decided to start Earth Ale from the inspiration that I have from the wild and the excitement in foraging in it. With that came the pop up dinners that allow me to carry on cooking whilst running a micro brewery at the same time. The brewery feels like a great extension to my cooking career that is very similar when it comes to thinking of a new dish to a new beer. I love the excitement of ideas that you create out of both and the finished product that you achieve from experimenting, research, gaining new knowledge and skills.
Why did you switch to pop ups?
We felt that it was a great platform to promote our Earth Ale and allow friends and strangers to experience something unique and unusual that they hadn't of experienced before. We aim at pushing the boundaries whilst still keeping a focus on flavour and balance. The pop ups allow us to be free to do whatever we want. That's what I absolutely love about it…..no rules
Will you continue doing pop ups in the future? Why or why not?
Yes we will but the point of it is to sign up to a premises where we can host on a more regular basis and a larger setup that will allow anyone to see what we are creating and not be pressured into buying a ticket before wanting to come and eat and sink a few beers/ cocktails with us. Having a premises where we host will then allow us to avoid venue fees which can be a substantial hit on pop ups.
What has been the most unexpected or disastrous experience?
Ha losing all electricity on our inductions mid-service coming to plating. Luckily Jim from the mechanic shop lent us his beasty extension cord to source power off which saved our night. Unexpected was pouring our cleanse shot into a decanter that would go over our shot glasses but the decanter was still open while pouring so vibrant green juice went all over our white linen for the kitchen table at the time……Yes I felt like a right fool…..schoolboy error… With Pop ups it's that classic saying “never a dull moment”