For those of you who love discovering the food beyond The Club in North Zakynthos, we’ve invited Billy & Jack of MasterChef fame for a culinary adventure. From 10th-17th September, the guys will be exploring nearby restaurants and sampling local specialities. Taking inspiration from the area, Billy & Jack will then host 2 pop up dinners for our guests joining us that week.* Ahead of this exciting event, we met them to talk about their rise in the food industry, plans for Peligoni, and their take on the perfect dinner party.
TELL US ABOUT THE JOURNEY OF BILLY AND JACK
B: Jack came third(!) and I came second in 2016 amateur Masterchef. You spend a great deal of time together whilst not filming and it was obvious we shared the same ideals and love of food. All food. But also our cooking styles are very similar. Joining forces seemed the natural step and the food adventure began…
J: It began with MasterChef! We both got to the final in 2016 and became really good friends in the process. When the show finished we thought it would be fun to continue cooking together, without much more of an idea than doing a few supper clubs it’s grown to what we’re up to today.
Joining forces seemed the natural step and the food adventure began…
YOU RECENTLY ANNOUNCED YOUR LAUNCH INTO FULL TIME FOOD – WHAT DOES THIS ENTAIL?
B: Billy & Jack is actually a year old, but we have been doing it alongside our other careers. Now we are full time food we can concentrate 100% of our time on the business and growing every aspect from supper clubs, to content creation to restaurant consultancy.
J: Lots of cooking! We do a whole range of things, from pop-ups to menu development for restaurants so it means every day is very different… it’s exciting!
LONDON’S FOOD SCENE IS REPLETE WITH EXCITING OFFERINGS, WHAT SETS BILLY & JACK APART?
B: We are approachable, 2 standard guys just doing what we love, and we like think that comes across in our food, making people smile – feel good food.
J: Firstly, we’re just people that love food in all sorts of ways, from cooking to eating out to exploring new trends and we’re not chefs so people can relate to what we get up to. Secondly, our attitude to food is one where we like to do high-end contemporary dishes but at the same time we’re never afraid to make a pie!
SINCE YOU JOINED FORCES, WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CULINARY COLLABORATION?
B: Having come from the very straightforward commercial property industry I had no idea about brands, PR and marketing, so being asked to head up the launch of Google Home for them, create the menu and host a 3 day event was incredible.
J: For me, building our supper club from 2 blokes without much clue what they were up to, to our current supper clubs that see us host people for a 7 to 8 course tasting menu has been a really good journey.
WHAT’ MAKES THE PERFECT DINNER PARTY?
B: A good balance between food that requires effort to create but not all your time that you neglect the diners, cheese is not a dessert course!
J: Easy – good, simple food with big flavours, lots of alcohol and great company. If you get those 3 things right, you’re guaranteed a really fun night.
IN EVERY DUO, EACH PART PLAYS A DIFFERENT ROLE – WHO DOES WHAT, OR DO YOU SPLIT THE RECIPE CONCOCTING AND COOKING EQUALLY?
B: Its great having two minds to bounce ideas around, and also to stop one that is going in the wrong direction! We develop ideas through together but playing to our individual strengths. Jack is definitely head of sales and marketing!
J: We split some of the more business-related tasks but when it comes to cooking and recipe development it only works with both of us. We work really well when we’re able to throw ideas at each other and develop in tandem. Our best dishes are those that have been created together.
HAVE YOU BEEN TO GREECE BEFORE, IF SO, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RETURNING WITH YOUR ‘CHEF HATS’ ON?
B: Many years ago when I was too young to remember, so it will be completely new, being an island, I cant wait to sample the local seafood. For me culture is all about eating and drinking and experiencing how the locals do it.
J: I’ve been to Crete but certainly didn’t cook! I personally can’t wait to get my hands on some beautiful local produce. My favourite type of food is great quality local ingredients cooked in a way that brings out the best of them, so I’m looking forward to getting in the kitchen. Obviously cooking in view of the ocean will be a plus as well!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO COME TO PELIGONI?
B: The club looks spectacular, I just can’t wait to get there and sample everything it has to offer whilst doing what we love to do!
J: Peligoni has a great reputation for hospitality, and hearing about the local food producers and restaurants made us jump at the chance to come over and cook. Plus, we really looking forward to meeting the other guests and enjoying our time together.
YOU WILL BE HOSTING TWO EVENTS AT PELIGONI – WHAT CAN GUESTS EXPECT?
B: Fun! We always want our diners to have fun, and delicious food of course! Food and drinks to match the beautiful surroundings using the local ingredients but of course with a little twist here and there…
J: Really tasty food! Modern dishes using the best local ingredients available and inspired by our explorations around the island (and who knows maybe some fish caught by us too!). Most of all we just love cooking for people and always have a lot of fun so looking forward to sharing these experiences with the guests.
*Billy & Jack will be at Peligoni from 10th -17th September. Guests booked into our accommodation can then put their names down on the list for tickets to the 2 Billy & Jack events via our London office. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and bookings.