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Voted ‘Reader’s Choice No1 Foodservice company’ in the UK for the last three years running, Woods Foodservice Limited is a family owned business that is proud to have been supplying general and specialist ingredients to top chefs for over fifty years.

With a range of over 2500 regular products sourced direct worldwide and an open listing policy, every chef’s needs are met. Our unrivaled customer care, our six days a week delivery service and our online ordering system are just a few of the services we offer. Years of experience along with a product range and service levels that have been designed specifically for the top end of the catering industry, help strengthen our growing reputation as the primary supplier in this sector.

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Quick Bite with Craig Purkiss & Austin Latimer

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

This week Head and Senior Development Chef Craig Purkiss, and Director of Food Austin Latimer, from London based bar and restaurant operator Barworks spoke to us about the high points in their careers, their inspirations and predictions for the next top food trends.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Craig: My biggest inspiration was my grandmother. The smell of her ginger bread and cake was incredible, I still remember that smell to this day.

Austin: I started in 1983 in a small local restaurant with a brigade of misfits and I fell in love with the whole concept: first bus in, last bus home, the long hours, the immense amount of organisation involved pre-service, the mania when service started, the amazing personalities you got to work with (some good, some bad and some totally disgraceful). I also love the creativity and instant gratification you feel every time a perfect dish goes out and the feedback from the customers is positive. Then there is the after service, the (anti)social aspect; late nights, stories, waitresses, a side order of carnage, mayhem! Read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and you’ll get the gist…. Work hard, go nuts, work again!

Craig - Barworks

What would you say is the most defining moment in your career?

Craig: Definitely holding a Michelin star in 2010. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears, there were many ups and downs. It changed the way I looked at my life, future and family.

Austin: Financially, running 6 venues at the London 2012 Olympics. Spiritually, working with highly creative, inspirational and hysterically funny hard-working people from all over the world.

Austin - Barworks

What do you think the next top trends are in food?

Craig: This is really easy because we’re seeing a dramatic change at the moment, I would call it “the 14 allergen food takeover” meaning all food will be driven by dietary requirements.

Austin: Cooking with fire and wood, and veganism – especially concepts like the vegan bleeding burger.

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry if they want to be successful?

Craig: Find a chef you like, persist and read the books. Try and eat at their restaurant, eat out and I mean eat out a lot, you will need to understand other food sectors.

Austin: Punctuality. Work harder than anyone else, be consistent, and don’t turn up for big shifts hungover. Be creative, have fun, otherwise what’s the point!

Tom Aikens Restaurant

“Woods Foodservice is one of the best companies that I have ever used, they have every product you could require and the service is 100% reliable and always on time. I have never had any complaints about Woods and they will always strive to make your life as a chef easier and the prices are the most competitive on the market.”

Tom Aikens – Chef/Patron, Tom Aikens Restaurant.

Intendance Palais Presidential

“Excellent personable customer service and very flexible with a chefs needs. Always happy to source specialised products. They are great for price and service.”

Ben Floyd – Head Chef, Republique Gabonaise, Intendance Palais Presidential.

Berger Restaurants Ltd

“We are delighted to have come across Woods as we have become increasingly frustrated with other suppliers. Woods quality and variety of products are excellent and prices are very competitive, but most of all we are enjoying the superb service and friendly attitude from all your staff, really refreshing to come across such as professional company. Highly recommendable”

Herbet Berger – Chef Director, Berger Restaurants Ltd.

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