With customers flocking to the internet for their online shopping, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products on offer and lose the connection of how they are sourced. From cheese, butter, bread to honey – there’s fierce competition, often seeing the larger, established corporations taking the limelight. Things are beginning to change however, and it feels like we now want to know where our food comes from, and how it was made. The word craft is often thrown around far too heavily, and unfortunately can be negatively associated with ‘hipsters’ wanting to give everything a label! What does ‘craft’ truly mean though? For me – it’s simple. It means quality over quantity – and importantly, I would argue it should only be applied to independent companies.
Following the success of last year’s series, The Balvenie has launched the second instalment of The Craftsmen’s Dinner, which tells the stories of four exceptionally skilled craftspeople through a series of short films. The films go a long way in demonstrating that true craft is not about what you make, or where you make it, but how you make it.
Hosted by Michelin starred chef, Michel Roux Jr., it showcases the sheer work these small producers put in. Each of them use traditional techniques to create their artisan products in the most unexpected of places, from a rooftop overlooking The Shard to the warehouses of Tottenham!
The series follows urban cheese makers, Wildes Cheese, who are my favourites on the show without a shadow of doubt. (The flirting between Philip and Michel had me in fits of giggles). I am a little biased though, having worked with them closely on Cheester and already participating in many of their cheese making classes. There is also the artisan bakery Wooster’s, who restored their old family mill, and Bermondsey Street Bees – who champion food sustainability from a central London rooftop. On a none food related note, the series also focuses on family-owned car producer Morgan Motor Company, who embrace new technology with traditional vehicles.
The stories shared, give an intimate understanding of how each of the businesses approach their trade. It’s clear that all of them have a desire to leave a mark through their produce, taking no shortcuts.
Pour yourself a glass, pop your feet up and have a watch!
Series Two of The Craftsmen’s Dinner is now live on https://www.youtube.com/TheCraftsmensDinner.