The Island Chef.
Becoming The Island Chef!
We moved to the Isle of Wight during one of the many lockdowns in December 2020. In March 2020, my ten-year-old catering business closed because of the pandemic! It had been growing for that time and I just completed a large corporate business event on 13th March.
We moved to the Yarmouth area of the West Wight. It has been a busy two years or more. Getting the new house the way we wanted, buying a holiday house, gutting it and refurbishing it in three months to get our first renters, it was a satisfying feeling!
I am involved with Sunshine radio station at St Mary’s Hospital in Newport, and have been producing a show on there which goes out every Thursday afternoon at 3pm. It’s been fun learning about radio and producing a show. You can listen to the show here.
Making the radio shows lead on to the concept of the podcast. When I restarted the business in the middle of 2021, I had to find several food, drink and other hospitality businesses in order to supply my business. This really opened my eyes to the number of food, drink businesses, or producers here on the island is amazing!
Creating a podcast.
It became apparent to me that there is a great story to tell about the food and drink that is produced here on this small island and the whole of the hospitality sector! I was not aware of Channel 5 working on a programme about the Isle of Wight, which included food and drink producers. The programme, Isle of Wight Jewel of the South went out in early 2023, and in the meantime I started contacting businesses to interview for the podcast.
The first business interviewed was the Water Mill at Calbourne. I then published an episode about The Isle of Wight Meat Company. The third episode was with the cafe in Shanklin, Blueberrys Cafe. I publish new episodes each month. You can listen to the podcast – click here.
Most weeks I find more new businesses to contact. The wealth of hospitality businesses here on this island of some 150,000 people is probably one of the highest rations anywhere in the UK!
So please have a listen to the podcast. It is free to subscribe to and offers a unique view of the people behind some of the most creative and different food and drink businesses I have found.
Food festival, past and present.
In my early days as a chef and caterer, I founded the Wallingford Food Festival in 2011 and over five years; the festival grew in both exhibitors and visitors. It won three awards for tourism! There is a new food festival this year on the Isle of Wight, called The Great Wight Bite on 9/10 September. It promises to be a great weekend. Tickets are not expensive so book early! The Island Chef will be there doing some demos and masterclasses!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the blog.