Motivate yourself with the #CatererMotivator! Who's inspiring us this week? Lord of the Wings!
Lord of the Wings

#CatererMotivator: Who's behind Lord of the Wings?

Back in February, Lord of the Wings held their very first event at Craving Coffee in Tottenham to rave reviews, which is unsurprising in light of their incredible food and vast industry knowledge. Ben's product research spans years and is far more akin to that of a veteran trader than of someone who is just getting started in the field. Indeed, it would be hard to find a trader whose passion and in-depth knowledge of their product measures up to that of The Lord of the Wings founder.

A notoriously fussy eater, Ben first sampled wings as a teenager when his father convinced him to deviate from his habitual chicken nuggets and chips; and it wasn't long after, that in celebration of his newfound love, Ben and his dad went to his mum's native America and toured New York on a self-professed 'Chicken Wing Pilgrimage' - finishing in Buffalo, the rumoured home of wings.

Ben spoke to chefs along the way and noted their advice, in the hope that he could one day apply their knowledge to his own business. Their advice was augmented by Ben’s part-time position with Orange Buffalo, whereby he worked in the business' Brighton kitchen, all the while gaining invaluable hands-on experience. Now with one sell-out event under his belt and a calendar chock full of events, it looks as though all his graft is paying off.

Hi Ben! Can you tell us what inspired you to get involved in the mobile catering industry?

I felt that LOTW had the potential to infiltrate the street food scene quite well - our food and our ethos encourages interaction. Wings are fun and are more 'go, go, go' than a meal you'd formally sit down to eat. Not forgetting the relatively low start-up costs involved in setting up a street food business; it enables young people with an idea to get out there.

Your food looks incredible! Tell us about your process, how long does it take to prep for an event?

Why thank you! The wing sauces are probably the most consuming aspect but leaving them to sit for a few days really enhances the taste, so I get these done well in advance. I prepare everything else on the day so that it's lovely and fresh.

Good call! I know you had your first pop-up back in February, can you tell us more about that?

Yeah sure, it was amazing, really great fun. It was at a lovely little cafe called Craving Coffee is in Tottenham and we completely sold out! The guys there are such a good team - working with them really helped to ensure that everything went smoothly. We loved it so much that we're going back for a whole weekend in May!

How do you source your products? Do you have any sustainability practices?

Our free range chicken comes from a great farm in Norfolk. When opting for a supplier, our priorities were taste, texture and welfare of the chicken and these guys ticked all the right boxes. These birds live to high welfare standards and are let outside to roam early on. When we established LOTW, we were keen to minimise our damage to the planet and we have used sustainable packaging from the outset - it is made from plants and is compostable - returning to soil in just 12 weeks. And of course we recycle! 

Street food has enjoyed great success in recent years. If it hadn't been for this, do you think LOTW would exist?

I think the rise in the popularity of street food allowed me to believe that LOTW was possible and not a pipe dream. Establishing a restaurant comes with a lot of risks and I think this would have deterred me from ever giving it a go. Having a low-cost start-up platform meant that we could try, without having to worry too much. Street food is amazing because it gives me confidence in the food I serve. I get to meet every single person who buys our food - I love chatting to them and seeing their response. They ask my name, what got me into food and the history behind each sauce, which I love! It's communal. 

How has NCASS membership helped with Lord of the Wings?

NCASS has helped with pretty much every aspect of Lord of the Wings. From the early stages of risk assessments, food hygiene and HACCP - to advice on how to store your food, what equipment is best and where to buy it. NCASS have helped me with insurance, and with finding work. Most of all, they make you feel part of a family of traders and the builds confidence and makes you believe you can do it! I high recommend anyone thinking about getting in to mobile catering to get in contact with NCASS first! All of us here at LOTW would also like to send our thanks to Penny Stubbs at NCASS for her continues help and support - she's part of the team and we love her!
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