Monthly Archives: March 2016

Souperstar: Tom Chadd from The Soup Dept

Tom is the first chef we reached out to when starting BrightonSoup and he has been stalwart supporter ever since, delighting us with his inventive and delicious soups. We chatted to the multi-talented Tom to find out more about what inspires him and why he got involved.

Tom, from that accent, I take it you aren’t Brighton born and bred…?  

Far from it!  I’m originally from Sunderland in the North East but I’ve not lived there for over 12 years, at first moving to Sheffield for University. I think the accent has softened a bit though.

2015-11-20-143015-#1055-SRC-PR #EDITEDWas it in Sheffield that you learnt your soup wizardry?

Actually, I trained as a civil engineer and worked for a few years in that field before deciding to try my hand at something else so I headed out to the French Alps. I sort of fell into cooking by accident, working in kitchens and chalets, picking up skills over the winter seasons and undertaking intensive cookery classes. People seemed to like the food I was making and I was really enjoying, so I kept going. I worked in the Italian Dolomites, then moving to the Peak District where I catered for large groups and weddings. 

There’s a bit of a mountain theme there. Brighton doesn’t have mountains, so why have you ended up here?

I’ve got a few friends who live here and I’ve been visiting for some time.  There’s a great music scene and there is always something interesting going on so I decided to stay. I think that happens a lot here.

You have a brilliant mobile soup stall, The Soup Dept, which has just moved to a new spot in Dorset Place, Brighton – why do you love soup so much? 2016-02-19-142315-#Peter

Soup has endless possibilities and variations; it’s healthy and nutritious and works really well as street food. I’ve always loved making soups and it allows me to be creative on a daily basis.  Who doesn’t like soup? Since starting up two years ago, Soup Dept. has become really popular with the local community.

Tell me about your customers…

I’m really lucky. Most of my customers are regulars from the art college or offices nearby and I’ve got to know a lot of them since setting up. Being part of the community is really important to me as an independent, and I want to have a positive impact locally.  I think soup and talking about soup connects people in some way. My customers even suggest recipes and ideas which I love!

2015-06-19-194950-#6870-SRC-CAROLWhere else do you get your soup inspiration from?

Everywhere! The meals that I eat, anything that has nice combinations of flavours.  I have a back catalogue but I keep I keep mixing it up, serving different soups each day, which are all freshly made inside the soup van, along with fresh bread rolls and organic coffees.

You offer a 50p discount for customers who bring their own cup? That’s brilliant!

Sustainability is a high priority at The Soup Dept.  All disposables are compostable and customers are encouraged to help the environment further by bringing their own cup and I like to reward that!  Local and organic ingredients are regularly used and food wastage is reduced to be as close to zero as possible. Any leftover bread rolls I deliver to the local food bank. 

What’s on the menu today (it smells DIVINE!) and can I have some?? 

We have two today, so you can try both. We have Thai Curried lentil and Cauliflower and Stilton.

Delicious. So what do you do when not making soup? 

Music is my other passion. I’m either watching live bands or playing keyboards with The Willing Gales, a Brighton 8 piece band, Seadog or Laish, a London band with a new album coming out soon.  

Why did you decide to get involved with Brighton Soup?

BSoup-Sponsor-Bowl-The-Soup-DeptIt is an incredible initiative and focuses on having a positive effect on the local community. Who wouldn’t support it?  The ideas pitched are inspiring, the format is fun and it is an entertaining evening. Not only that, I’ve met some fascinating people.

You can find Tom weekdays at his new spot in Dorset Place and check out The Soup Dept on Facebook and Twitter to see which soups are being made each day.

If you want to taste what deliciousness Tom’s cooking up for our next event then best come along on the 29th.

Have a great day.

Team Soup

Chomp & Tica

We tell people that pitching at BrightonSoup is not just about winning the money, but making connections with people. And it’s true. We’ve had 15 people pitch at our 4 events so far. Of the 11 that didn’t win the vote, most of them have told us they had offers of help and support directly from the guests: volunteers, donations of material or money, free services or training.chomp flyer Or people wanting to use the services being pitched or just wanting to help spread the word around.

And it’s not just for the people pitching, it’s for us too. People come up to us and offer raffle prizes, or to give funding application advice, or to make soup, bake cakes, help wash up or help us clear up at the end of the evening. One guest described the atmosphere at BrightonSoup as a “net of kindness” :).

At our last event, Ken George, who owns Tica, the watch & clock shop on Boundary Road, invited us to his shop to pick a raffle prize for our next event. Ken’s wife bakes bread with Simon from Stoneham Bakehouse so was clearly supporting him. But Ken voted for Chomp because he really loved what they were doing, and as they didn’t win he said he was going to help them. Well we heard this week that he got in touch with Amy and offered to match the winning funds as a donation to Chomp – £352.80. What a souperstar!

The funding will help Chomp to continue doing what they do for hungry kids and their families during the school holidays. They still need practical help though, people to help serve drinks, play with the kids, chat with parents, serve food.

They are holding training for volunteers on Monday 14th March at 7pm at St Peter’s Church, West Blatchington. It’s a chance find out more about Chomp Lunch Club, how they run and how you can get involved. So please encourage anyone who wants to know more to go along or get in touch at chomp@onechurchbrighton.org.

Help them keep up the great work!

Team Soup

 

Wide Berth progress with your money

At our last event, Tamsin Williams, from Wide Berth gave us an update on how things had gone since she pitched and won at BrightonSoup @ Hangleton. For those of you that couldn’t make it we invited her to be our guest blogger for today;

“I set up Wide Berth to enable mums to have time to be free and honest about motherhood and mental health whilst engaging in an activity such as making mosaics. We aim to counteract social isolation for mums and develop a community of support for families throughout Brighton and Hove.

WideBerth-20160311-FlyA6-150ppi-WebWe won the money at the second BrightonSoup event back in September. We now have a bank account so the money had somewhere to go! We’ve been working towards a Make and Meet taster day led by mums who participated on our previous mosaic course. Three mums and a grandmother are teaching how to make felt brooches, bracelets, prints and pendants. This one-off afternoon event is run by mums for mums to get a bit of time off from daily chores. The BrightonSoup money has gone towards producing leaflets and the materials like felt, inks, beads and clay. We’re using Honeycroft in Hove as the venue and the crèche, so it’s covered this cost.

We made a wonderful connection with Helen Jones who runs On Request, an online ‘ideas sharing’ platform. It allows audiences/the public to say what they want or would like to see or do, while providing a space for arts providers or any organisation to respond, hopefully by listening to people and responding with relevant programming/provision. Helen has masses of experience in arts marketing and we’ve had skype meetings encouraging and helping me, even doing mailshots for me. This has been incredible voluntary support that I wouldn’t have had without BrightonSoup.

We had lovely feedback from mum’s who did our last workshop:

“I think what you are doing is amazing and I hope there will be a way to continue the project as it has certainly helped me to cope with all the negative emotions I have been feeling. I know there must be lots of women who feel like me and would benefit from the project as I have… “

“I just wanted to say thank you for today’s session, I really enjoyed it! I had a panic attack this morning and very nearly didn’t come but I’m so glad I did, it has lifted me up. The relaxation exercise really helped too!”

Please let any mums you know who would benefit from an afternoon off, that we have our one-off afternoon ‘Make and Meet craft for mums’ on Friday 11th March @ 12.30 – 2.30pm.

Thank you.

Tamsin Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos, Junk Food & Little Green Pigs

It is World Book Day so it is fitting that today’s guest on Under the Influence with Mike Willis is Julie Watson from Little Green Pig. A charity that believes all young people can be writers. Julie pitched at BrightonSoup back in November and although she didn’t win she had lots of interest so she has some great things to say about the experience. To find out more, and to hear what Little Green Pig have been up to since the event tune in to 1BrightonFM at 1pm today. Hopefully there won’t be any acapella Queen. 🙂 No promises though.

We want to thank Sarah and all at The Real Junk Food Project for the veg donation which ended up in Tom’s Spicy Parsnip & Swede Soup – which was very popular. If you don’t know, TRJFP help eradicate food wastage by feeding it to people on a “pay as you feel” basis. Sam Redfern, one SCAN-20160303of their volunteer chefs who cooked a delicious Tuscan Bean Soup for our event said cooking at TRJFP was like “Ready, Steady, Cook”. What a great way to take what would be wasted and put it to delicious use.

You probably know TRJFP host a popup event at One Church in Gloucester place at 1pm every Friday, but did you know they host several events across Brighton & Hove?

St Lukes Church on Old Shoreham Road – Mon to Wed (open midday)
Hollingdean Community Centre – Thu (open 1 pm)
The Hive in Hove – 1st Wed of the month (open midday)

Plenty of opportunities to try them out across town and you can get the full details on their website. And if you can’t make it yourself then pass the info on.

If you haven’t spotted it yet, our event photos are up on bookface. A very special thanks to Natalie Duke for helping us out for the evening and giving us some great photos.

Happy World Book Day!

Team Soup