28 October 2019, 14:26 PM
  • We chat to the founder of Dalston's Soda about the best parts of the food and drink industry
5 Minutes With: Duncan O’Brien

WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN’T IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?
Complaining about whatever industry I was in.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
General dogsbody at a now sadly closed corporate events business called Mavis Hall Park.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Music, art, talking to all the actively engaged people I meet. All the different places in the UK are pretty inspiring – even the outwardly grim ones are hiding some diamonds!

WHAT’S THE WORST JOB YOU’VE DONE?
Practising a form of autism-therapy called Son-Rise with two very autistic children. Not the worst job for any other reason than it was highly challenging and exhausting with very slow progress. I have so much respect for all types of care-giver.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE JOB?
The people.

AND YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE?
When people use tiny tasting cups in professional soft drinks tasting – soda is for glugging not sipping! Try it with some Dalston’s and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

HOW ABOUT THE FOOD INDUSTRY?
The best thing is that food and drink is everywhere, the worst thing is that it’s everywhere – getting away from work can be tricky, you’ll be on holiday and spy a fridge full of drinks and just find yourself eyeing it up.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST SUPPER?
Might serve as a method of execution too but seeing as it’s the last one, go heavy:

Aperitivo - L.N. Mattei Blanc with Dalston’s Rhubarb Light.
Starter - Cullen Skink.
Main - Chateaubriand of Aberdeen Angus paired with a Tomassi Amarone.
Dessert - Crème brûlée.
Espresso. Grappa.

TEA OR COFFEE?
Yes please.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
Jokingly: Style before purpose (although I’ve never been much of a dresser).
Seriously: Work hard and be thankful.

WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
An uncooked scallop just pulled out of the sea onto a small boat. Weird because it was absolutely delicious and I’m petrified of all things slimey.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.

SWEET OR SAVOURY?
Depends on context but if I could only have one I’d go with savoury.

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