Sunday, 31 August 2014

September 2014 - Amy Cheadle from Northern Dough Company

Say Hi everyone to Amy Cheadle one half of the talented Northern Dough Co Pizza dough company (the other being Chris her husband), who lovingly create artisan frozen dough so you can create a superior pizza at home. Available at various farmers markets, quality food outlets and also from Booths,Waitrose and Ocado, this is a Lancashire food business success. Amy is currently cooking a little dough ball all of her own which is expected any day soon so she managed to fit in answering our questions whilst resting at home.

Their ready to roll bases are available in four flavours, original, wholemeal, rosemary and chilli they have a base to suit all tastes. Self confessed pizza addicts they love what they do and the product they have created.

Northern Dough Co

Recently featured in BBC Good Food Magazine as a face of Clitheroe food festival the team are a regular feature of local food shows.

So on to our questions, so what makes Amy tick .....

  •      What is your favourite cookery, food book or publication ?
There’s so many cookbooks I love – I have Delia’s ‘How to Cook’ where I learnt the basics and find Jamie’s fresh flavours and simplicity great for everyday, but one of my favourite times of the month is when my foodie mags pop through the door and I can sit down and leaf through the seasonal recipes – I cut out my favourites and keep them as an ongoing scrapbook to refer back to on a regular basis. Olive, Delicious and BBC Good Food are all delivered to the door.
  •         What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Hearty, homely and comforting – food that brings family and friends together.
  •         If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
I absolutely love working with food, but my long term dream is to write a novel, so I’d love to spend my days in a cottage in the countryside gazing over a lovely view and coming up with plots – food would have to feature heavily though!
  •         Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
My pizza peel – it makes getting a pizza in and out of a hot oven on a stone really easy and is always a talking point when people come over for a pizza party. They’re not expensive though, about £10 or so for one that will last a lifetime.
  •         Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
My ultimate guest would be Roald Dahl, his stories fired my imagination as a child, The Witches was my favourite and I thought it was delightfully frightening that you could be turned into a mouse by eating chocolate and sweets! I’d also invite a true Neopolitan pizza chef and the team at Bake Off – Mel and Sue as they would provide the entertainment and Paul and Mary to keep me on my toes and make sure my baking was up to scratch!
  •         What advice would you give to your younger self ?
That setbacks are critical to finding the very best solution. Sometimes at the time things not going the way you planned feels tough, but in hindsight I’ve always learned far more from situations that I’ve had to approach for a second or third time – challenge inspires innovation and that’s what keeps things interesting. (This doesn’t however apply to my driving test, which took 9 attempts to pass!)
  •         Describe your style in three words
Currently its comfortable, cool and expandable as I’m 8 months pregnant but usually its pretty much summed up as classic – whether it be fashion, food or at home, I love the basics but keeping things fresh with a little twist here and there.
  •         What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
A Kitchen Aid pizza wheel, it was ludicrously expensive given you can pick up a similar gadget for a few pounds, but it slices through any pizza/ topping like a knife through butter and at food shows we can cook 50 pizzas a day and cut them into 30 mini slices for sampling, so efficiency is a must!
  •         What is your greatest achievement to date ?
Creating a brand at our kitchen table and getting into onto supermarket shelves nationally within two years. We started the business with a small sum of money left to my by my late Grandmother, who was renowned for her larger than life personality and strong work ethic and it makes me very proud to think of the delight she’d take in our success. I also love when people are surprised that as a husband and wife team, people think that Chris and I would drive each other crazy living and working together – its quite the opposite, I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather run a business with.

  •         What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Making things overcomplicated – at our first food show in 2011, we were making samples so people could taste the pizza dough freshly baked. I devised an elaborate list of different toppings, and tried to re-create them on the stand only to find that it was an absolute disaster and meant timings were all over the place. Since then, we opt for tomato and mozzarella and let the dough speak for itself – I also always look to Chris to simplify things, he’s great at seeing through the detail and pulling out the one or two key elements that are important.
  •        Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect !
There’s not much in the food world that I don’t enjoy – sweet, savoury, all the cuisines of the world and food is always a huge part of holidays and day trips wherever I am. Not a secret, especially for someone working in the food industry, but if someone was to offer me a last meal ever, it wouldn’t be lobster or fillet steak, I’d head to a chippy in Preston city centre and order chips, cheese and gravy and sit on a bench outside to eat them, covered in vinegar! It was a student staple years ago, and still something I crave as comfort food.

Dough sticks

Northern Dough Co

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