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

We spoke to James Lyon-Shaw, Director at Brucan Pubs, who shared his passion for the hospitality industry, advice for becoming a chef and his store cupboard secret weapon.

What would you say are the most defining moments in your career to date?

Opening The Greene Oak in 2018 as the first pub in our company and realising a career long ambition

What inspired you to become a chef?

The satisfaction and instant gratification received when realising how happy a good meal can make people feel and how important hospitality is to our way of socialising

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry who wants to be successful?

It’s very simple, work hard. Nothing gets handed to you, you’re not entitled to anything and nobody owes you a thing. If you want it, make it happen

Any favourite ingredients at the moment or menu trends you are really enjoying?

This time of year is all about slow cooking for me and getting the most out of our nose to tail ethos. Oxtail ragu braised with some Essential Cuisine Veal Jus is another level of flavour!

Favourite dish on the menu that uses ingredients from Woods?

My store cupboard secret weapon is Geo Watkins Anchovy Sauce, it’s a great way to season dishes such as a fish pie, a hot pot, stew or Welsh rarebit. I even add a tablespoon to my shepherd’s pie when I make it at home to really ramp up the flavour!