If you’ve been to soup before, then you know the grub is delicious. You might even chatted with Peter, our boss of all things kitchen. We asked him about his view of our events:
I’m Peter (the kitchen) and I got caught by the press gang. Not for the first time! My last job started with a few beers followed by 2 months floating about in the North Sea. After 10 years of that kind of thing I managed to scrabble back to shore. Then I got involved with BrightonSoup. OK, at least this time “the gang” were my friends.
I’ve come to love Soup. It’s a great idea, and such a win-win. An amazing value night out, and great for the pitchers who get to interact with people who want to be involved with things that are going on in their neighbourhood. I mean, look at it like this. One can have a good time dancing, eating out, or going to the pictures. At Soup, you could hear something or meet someone that inspires you to do new things, explore new avenues. It could even change your life.
For me it has been a great opportunity to meet and work with new people. Lizzie is one of our talented chefs, who spends much of her life doing charitable work of one kind or another. She is a fantastic organizer and not only is she absolutely invaluable in the kitchen but also brings her artistic flair with her – that is why the bread and extras are often arranged so nicely, instead of just made into piles by a nerdy techie like me. She is an amazing cook (I’m lucky enough to have been for dinner) and makes our famous Clam Chowder.
Our chefs Tom and Sam also help out when they can make it – in the kitchen and serving people soup. Tom has made a business out of soup (The Soup Dept) and Sam has been on MasterChef. With people like these helping out it’s not surprising the soups are so good. We also hope the service is 🙂
And it is great meeting our customers too. At the first few events we used to line up bowls behind labels (I said I was a techie) because we were anxious about how long it would take to serve everyone. Then we did a venue where we were didn’t have space so we had to serve people individually. It didn’t take any longer and it was so much nicer to interact with our guests, have a quick chat while we’re serving, help them decide the soup etc. We’ve kept it that way ever since.
Being in the kitchen I often don’t get to pay much attention to the pitches on the night. It is the busiest time, making sure the soup is ready to serve as soon as they finish. But more often than not I get to meet them before the event, either to talk through the process or at pitch-training sessions. I always want them all to win. But even those who don’t often tell us they have got something invaluable, just from being there.
Soup has certainly changed me. Two years ago there would have been no way on Earth I’d have walked up the high street, gone into a shop and asked for something free for a raffle. Now I do that kind of thing. It has been amazing to meet people doing stuff in their community. Not just celebs on the telly, real people doing real stuff. And never before have I had the opportunity to wash up 100 soup bowls at 10-o-clock at night, that’s been just great too. OK, I could maybe ditch that one, but thankfully there’s been plenty of help!
I’ve always loved doing new things. Maybe that’s why I’m such a sucker for the press gang.