Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, March 20, 2022
At the upcoming London Produce Show, one of our featured speakers will be Ian Nottage, a classically trained Chef with over 40 years experience in the foodservice and hospitality industry and a Fellow of the Craft Guild of Chefs.
He is currently Head of Food Development at Sysco Speciality Group where he works with their extensive customer base to forge meaningful links between grower, farmer, producer, manufacturer, chefs and buyers to deliver profitable, relevant and innovative menu solutions and to help develop the understanding and appreciation in the trade about how our produce arrives from field to fork.
During his time in professional kitchens Ian held positions as Executive Chef at such prestigious venues as Hampton Court Palace, Stoll Moss theaters and The London Coliseum. Ian is also involved in the wider industry and is an active member of The Craft Guild of Chefs and a regular judge at The Great Taste Awards, Quality Food Awards, World and British Cheese Awards, Hotelympia Salon Culinaire and the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards.
He is also co-founder and event director of The Universal Cookery and Food Festival.
We asked PRODUCE BUSINESS Contributing Editor, Steven Loeb, to find out more. Ian talked to us about the current food trends in the UK, how to convince growers to take a chance on new crops, and the difference between what chefs and consumers look for in their produce.
Head of Food Development
Sysco Speciality Group
Q: Talk about yourself a little bit about yourself and what your company does.
A: I work for the UK Sysco speciality group, which is a collection of different companies. So, we have M&J Seafood, which is obviously a seafood and shellfish speciality company; we have FreshDirect, which is a bit like FreshPoint in the US. So, that’s the fresh produce business. We have a company called Wild Harvest, which makes real, premium ingredients for chefs, so that’s produce, but speciality produce, like blood oranges, wild garlic, forage ingredients. And we also have a lot of chef ingredients as well, things like ingredients from molecular gastronomy, different types of chocolate and couvertures, specialist oils, vinegars, truffles, that sort of thing. And we also have our own production facility called Fresh Kitchen, where we make sauces, soups, stews, pickles, mostly vegetables and things for our customers, although we offer a bespoke service; I guess you guys would call it ‘commissary.’
I’ve been with the company now for two years and I head …….