Let us take you behind the scenes to discover a few Honest Crust secrets and hear from the people that make the magic happen. James Wood, Development Chef – or, as we like to think of him, our very own Willy Wonka of the sandwich world – shares with us his role in creating your favourite sandwiches, subs, salads and pasta pots. Take it away James…
I thought the best way to introduce myself would be to reveal my favourite sandwich. For me, nothing beats a New York Deli, or pastrami-filled sandwich. Pastrami, cheese and gherkins: unbeatable.
I’m a lucky guy. My job entails coming in each day, messing about with food, experimenting with new flavours (all in a very scientific way, of course), and creating the products that make your lunch time a little brighter.
One of my favourite parts of the job is creating Honest Crust’s limited editions. It kicks off with me receiving a brief from the Honest Crust team with suggestions and trends the public like.
I then work out a way to craft that brief into a sandwich or product that is familiar enough that customers buy it but that’s slightly different in ingredients or format, so they get excited about it. No one likes boring.
There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing: some of the products take a few attempts to get right. We have fun along the way and always aim to create something different. One of next year’s limited editions is a vegan burrito. All the flavour – all the calories, right? Wrong. It’s one of our (many) products that’s under 400 calories. Job done.
I've worked on some pretty unique stuff. I'm pretty proud of our delicious sweet and savoury creation coming out in April. Before working in sandwiches, I worked with desserts, so this was right down my street and I couldn’t wait to get started. They are indulgent and pretty irresistible – just you wait! They eat unbelievably well.
We’re also fortunate that we’ve got access to great ingredients. By the time I’m playing with the ingredients, they’ve all been checked for quality, size, colour, and weight and they’re all ready to go. If I’m not happy with it though, it doesn’t go in. I always ask myself – would I be happy paying for this? If the answer is no, I’m not comfortable using it. End of.
In the Honest Crust development kitchen we waste as little as possible: we only order what we need. We separate different types of waste, and nothing gets sent to landfill. Instead, all our food waste is broken down and positively re-used.
We try to look after waste and taste, and always have fun doing so. I’ve always loved eating and experimenting with new flavours. And, in a real turnaround, I’m now actually encouraged to play with my food.
If you’d like to find out more about Honest Crust, its partnerships with anti-food waste charity FareShare, or the limited editions we’ve got planned for the future, keep an eye on the Honest Crust Stories page.