I have been lucky enough to have worked for and with some of the most influential chefs in the country, but none more talented and astute than Joe Draper. We first met at the River Cottage canteens where I headed up the development chef team. It was obvious on our first meeting that Joe had all the necessary acumen to not only produce some of the finest food in the southwest, but also be financial savvy to run a busy kitchen. Over the next 3 years Joe became my right hand man, working with me closely on kitchen development through ergonomic design, menu and recipe development. His depth and knowledge of sustainable produce from land and sea, gives him an edge far beyond an everyday consultant and given the most simple of projects can elevate them to great heights. Joe has since worked with myself on various independent projects through my own family consultancy ‘The Kitchen shrink’ and will continue to do so well into the futureAndrew Green, The Kitchen Shrink
I have known and worked with Joe for many years, both in London and the West Country. Joe represents an unusual and rare thing, he is both talented and creative in the kitchen and steady, reliable and clued up in the office, making him one of those chefs that will be in demand for many different types of project. Joe has been helping me at my new venture Green Sauce and helping run Hall and Hearty community dining events since leaving River Cottage Plymouth after running a very tight ship there for over 4 years regularly and consistently meeting targets and hitting budgets whilst keeping a culinary eye on the ball and serving some top class food. In short, Joe is a very talented chef who is ready for anythingTim Maddams, Co-Founder Green Sauce Ltd
Joe Draper is a very talented chef and I hugely enjoyed working with him during his time at the helm of the River Cottage Canteen, Plymouth. He opened the Canteen for us in 2011, and remained as head chef for 4 years, using his considerable creative talents to devise many outstanding new dishes. Embracing and celebrating the River Cottage approach to seasonal cooking and sustainable sourcing, he forged relationships with many excellent local producers and took the restaurant from strength to strength.
Joe is a natural host as well as a chef, and I’m sure in his new venture he will continue to display his wonderful hospitality as well as his flair and passion for food. I wish him all the very best, and can't wait to see what he achieves in the future.Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. April 2015
It’s not about just eating Organic, its about being more aware where our food comes from, and sourcing locally has a much better effect on our carbon foot print and helps grow our communities.
The best produce is normally found on your doorstep, from the eggs sold at the end of the lane to the locally reared free range chicken from your butcher and the wild garlic you pick whilst walking your dog
Every little bit helps! Even if it’s just milk bottles you recycle or you buy line caught fish, it will make a difference and the more we do now the better it will be for our future generations
Being engaged with your community and colleagues and doing the best you can to teach, help and learn from them brings the best out in all of us
For me food shouldn’t be over complicated, letting the produce speak for itself, in a simply rustic approach and taking great care in its execution.
I have been very fortunate to meet and work along side some amazing people throughout my career, and for me now is about continuing to build new relationships and giving something back to the community.