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Spotlight on…Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton

February 26, 2020
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We catch up with our brand ambassador, the celebrity chef Josh Eggleton, in the lead-up to this year’s kbb Birmingham show. Here, he tells us everything you need to know about Josh’s background, his fascination with

food and details on some of his eateries. You can also get a sneak peek into what to expect if you visit Josh on our K100 stand at this year’s kbb Birmingham trade show in March and what he plans to do afterwards.

Where did your fascination with food begin?

Cooking at home when I was a child. I remember I used to bake Victoria Sandwiches then sell them to my neighbours. In fact, I was always interested in cooking for my family.

Why did you choose to open your first pub The Pony and Trap in Chew Magna? 

I went to school in Chew Valley so I know the area well. Then, when the pub became available, I knew I already loved the location.

Tell us more about the Pony’s garden

We’ve had a year’s growing cycle with our no-dig beds now so our gardener Tim has really got the measure of what grows well where. We can also apply this to our menu all year round now. too. We grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and botanicals across the pub garden, no-dig beds and poly-tunnels. This covers everything, from root veg, greens, edible flowers and berries to orchard fruits, such as apples and medlars, and salad leaves.

How many eateries do you now own as a Michelin-star chef?

We’ve had The Pony & Trap since 2006 and Salt & Malt our fish & chip restaurant and takeaway at Chew Magna lake since 2014. I also co-own The Kensington Arms – a pub in Redland in Bristol, Yurt Lush – a cafe and venue near Temple Meads in Bristol, plus veg-led restaurant Root which has a Bib Gourmand at Wapping Wharf on Bristol’s Harbourside. There’s another, Salt & Malt at Wapping Wharf, too.

Do they differ in terms of the food on offer?

They are all very different but with great produce and service at the heart of each and every one.

You own a ‘vegetable-led’ restaurant in Bristol called Root – tell us the ethos behind this

Root serves seasonal small plates and champions local producers and suppliers. I would describe is as vegetable focused with a little meat and fish on the menu, which is meant to be an option. The underlying message is that we should all eat a little less meat.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career now that you’re a Michelin-star chef?

I don’t think I’ve had a ‘biggest challenge’ yet – it’s about trying to deal with everything with a level head.

What gives you inspiration?

Working with a variety of people within our company who want to create something special – I can see inspiration in everything if I’m honest.

What did you learn from your role as restaurateur in last year’s televised series The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes?

I think I learned that understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your staff is probably the most important aspect in running a business.

Tell us more about your role with us as our brand ambassador and Michelin star chef at this year’s kbb Birmingham show

This year, I’ve been working on dishes that integrate influences from Japan with British ingredients using Caple kitchen appliances. For example, I’ve created a tortellini filled with minced chicken and a grilled onion broth and pickled onions.

How many recipes are you currently working on for the event?

We are currently working on six recipes, which you’ll get the chance to try if you visit this year’s show.

Which days will you be joining us at the show as our brand ambassador? 

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

What sorts of flavours can we expect from the dishes you plan to create as a Michelin-star chef?

We’re going to be taking Japanese influences and creating dishes using British ingredients. We’ve got a chicken dumpling pasta with a burnt onion broth, which will look and taste delicious, plus our take on Sashimi served with sea buckthorn ponzu – the sea buckthorn is a great seasonal ingredient at this time. We’re also using salt-baking to lock in moisture and season vegetables, which we think will work really well to make a vegetable maki roll with horseradish as our British wasabi element. In addition, we’ve got some dessert recipes, combining the flavours of chocolate and matcha in a cake, and a cheesecake featuring Earl Grey tea.

What are you planning to do afterwards? 

I’m taking part in Action Against Hunger with other chefs and ambassadors to raise vital funds by trekking through the Jordan Rift Valley to the of ancient city of Petra in March. It’s a six-day trek, which will be really challenging. However, I have trekked in Nepal with the charity previously and seen some of the work they do, so the funding is essential for the charity and I’m very humbled to be involved.

Would you like to find out more about Josh Eggleton? Then visit our dedicated section on our brand ambassador!