As part of our Pop-up at Baked series, last summer we were proud to play host to two vegan pop-up nights – Sharing the Season with local talent Arthur Holt. With two fully booked events; great feedback; and some serious skills development, here in his own words is what he thought of the nights, and why those considering running their own events should get in touch.
“Last summer I had the opportunity to run a series of vegan pop-up nights at Baked, called Sharing the Season. My aim for the evenings was to celebrate the best of local, seasonal produce, and to do so I got in contact with a local organic farm in Chichester, Wayside Organics and Hodmedod’s, a UK producer and supplier of dried beans, legumes and grains. After establishing an idea of what produce was on offer I set out to create two menus.”
And how did the first night go?
“The first evening quickly came around, a couple of days before me and my Dad paid a sunrise visit to Wayside and collected an amazing assortment of produce. With the much needed help of my family I spend the next two days working in our kitchen to get all the food prepared and before we knew it, it was 6pm and we set off for Baked to set up for night. Having never cooked on this scale before it was definitely a case of learning on the job, but with my family by my side we gradually worked out our way of working (and I hope those there on the night would agree it was a success).”
And the second?
“Taking on board what I learnt on the first night, I then had a few weeks to prepare for the second. Inspired by my love of Ottolenghi’s vegetarian food and his restaurant’s giant salad platters that greet those entering with a smile, I decided to make the second menu an assortment of different vegetable dishes. Those that have used Ottolenghi’s recipes before will know how time consuming they can be (my best example of this was spending the night before making about 25 stuffed Courgettes until about 3am!).
Due to the number of components the day of the second pop up was a busy one, concluding with an afternoon spent making about 100 Sambousek (small vegetable pies) with the help of my sister. Although it took some time, seeing the counter stacked full of a colourful array of vegetable dishes and cakes made it all worthwhile. The night got under way and before we knew it we were cutting the last slices of cake and sending people off with some of the beautiful produce we had left over.”
What did you learn from the experience? And what would you say to those considering running their own pop-up at Baked nights?
“I learnt so much over the course of the summer doing these pop-up nights, including: contacting suppliers; working out how much to order and make; and how to organise serving up on the night. To anyone considering doing pop up nights in the future, do it! It is an invaluable opportunity and a great chance to test out your culinary ideas.”
And the future, any more foodie adventures on the horizon?
“I am currently in my second year studying Sustainable design at Falmouth University. Luckily, I have many opportunities to combine my love of food and my love of design, tackling environmental and social issues relating to food. Although I am currently pursuing opportunities in the world of design I still have a dream to one day open a café/restaurant. Much of my time when I am not studying is spent cooking food with my friends and I continue to learn about different ways of cooking and baking.
Thank you to all those that came to the pop up nights, The Pantry, Hodmedod’s and Wayside Organics. Thank you to my family for helping me run these nights, without you I would still be in our kitchen rolling out dough to make Sambousek and stuffing Courgettes! Lastly thank you Lauren and the team at Baked, this was an incredible opportunity I couldn’t thank you enough for giving it to me. Throughout the whole process you gave me continuous support and freedom to try things out and I would jump at the opportunity to take part again in the future.”
Arthur’s food and design adventures can be followed on his Instagram account here. If your inspired by Arthur’s experience, and want to run your own pop-up at Baked event, do get in touch.