British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 6

Lochie has been with us for around two years now, he started here working in the picking room and still does picking on the busier days, however for the past six months he has been keeping check on the stock, ordering and ringing customers for orders and has become a bit of an all rounder or you could say ‘he has his fingers in all the pies’ !

Lochie is the second member of staff to choose the chicken, leek and bacon pie as his favourite: “as a man who loves meat, this is a winner and the creamy sauce compliments it so well.”
He is also a big fan of the Steak and Ale pie, enjoying the rich flavour of the locally sourced beef and Otter Ale.

Q&A with Lochie

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Chicken and bacon definitely, I’m a man who loves meat and the creamy sauce compliments it so well!

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: Chips all day every day, mash is probably the worst way to have a potato!

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: Beef stew and dumplings, can’t beat it. Good for anytime of the year.

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: Near enough 2 years now.

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Mainly calling all our customers for the orders.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: Absolutely not, never pictured myself here but I do love it really! I was working as a bartender before this, so feel free to ask me about any alcohol on the phone – which we have now started selling by the way – little bit of a plug!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Probably most excited to be playing football again.

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 5

Hannah has been with us for just over a year now, she was previously a Civil Servant at Exeter Combined Court for 12 years but after having their second little girl and being Liam’s wife she decided it was the right time to leave the Court Service and join us here at Isca!

As well as setting up Orchardlea Occasion Foods, a new buffet food and hamper side to the business, she has been covering my role while I have been on maternity leave. We will continue to work together on the admin, social media and marketing side of Isca. 

The pie of choice for Hannah is also the flavoursome Homity Pie, “the garlic, potato and cheese flavour is just so satisfying and moreish, the pastry really does round it off.” 

Q & A 

Q: Favourite Pie and why?

A: Homity Pie, but has to be hot! I absolutely love the Chunk homity pie, the potato, garlic and cheese is just immense it is so filling, it is an absolute carb feast but you need carbs especially in the winter months!

 

Q: Chips or Mash?

A: Hard one, I do love pie and mash but the mash has to be good! So probably chips, I don’t tend to have chips much either so always enjoy them when I do. 

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?

A: Starter – Breaded brie and cranberry
Main – Probably roast dinner 
Pudding – Crumble

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?

A: Just over a year properly, but I have been involved with Isca for a long time due to Liam running the business. I’m glad to be a part of the team now and there is a lot in the pipeline for us as a business going forward – exciting times ahead!

Q: What is your role at Isca?

A: I manage ‘Orchardlea Occasion Foods’ our new buffet food/hamper side of the business, but also admin for Isca, taking orders, emails, invoicing, social media, picking orders if we are short of staff/busy, a bit of everything really!

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?

A: Not at all, I loveee food and especially cheese so I am in the right place now! I have always done admin/event based roles but had never used Sage (our invoice system) before. I enjoy a new challenge though so I never mind learning new skills.

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?

A: Definitely seeing friends and family properly, enjoying good food and a break from cooking myself!
Being able to do more with our girls, our youngest (Molly) is nearly 2 and has hardly seen any animals yet!

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 4

Dan started working for us in the complete mayhem of last year and since then has pretty much managed to cover all aspects of the business from picking and packing orders to taking a starring role in our Westcountry Olive promotional videos and recently trying his hand at inputting invoices and updating our website after a slight altercation with his thumb. As the requisite foodie type required to work in this industry Dan said “my death row meal would be pie, pie and chips, pie and mash, pie on its own – just pie”.

His pie of choice is the classic chicken and bacon, “if I know I’ve got a chicken & bacon pie waiting for me at the end of the day it makes it a whole lot better”. We agree, pie does make things better, and the chicken & bacon pie from Chunk of Devon is no exception – lovely and creamy with big chunks of tender chicken combined with intensely smoky bacon pieces in a creamy white wine sauce. What’s not to love?

Q&A with Dan

Q: Favourite chunk pie and why? 

A: Chicken, bacon and leek, combination of flavours really work well together, chunk create smooth yet complex gravy that really combines the chicken and bacon.

Of course the best thing about any chunk pie is the perfect pastry, flacky which is owed to being a great British pie

Q: Chips or mash? 

A: Long pause….. Chips due to the simple fact that you can dip into the gravy/sauce and clean up the plate.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 

A: Starter – mozzarrella dipper, halloumi fries and sweet chilli dip

 

Main – steak and ale pie, yorkshire puddings, roast pudding red cabbage and cauliflower cheese

 

Pudding – sticky pudding toffee

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods? 

 A: Around 6/7 months 

Q: What is your role at Isca? 

A: Olive production manager, Picker, due to a recent cycling incident he has taken more of an admin role currently helping with invoicing and banking.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?

A: No, however life is built on spontaneous experiences which will make great stories for when i am an old man! 

The Acting dream will never die and i may become famous one day

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when Lockdown restrictions have been eased completely? 

A: Leaving the house without a panic of ‘have i got a mask on me!!’

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 3

Today is the turn of yours truly in our staff favouite pie series for British Pie Week. I have worked here for the last four years and over that time my job role has ranged from picking and packing orders in the cutting room to answering the phones, inputting invoices, posting on our social media and, obviously since you’re reading this, writing our blogs. I wasn’t always into food and in fact used to be an incredibly fussy eater however I have always enjoyed a good pie. I would argue that my husband makes the best pies but since that wasn’t an option here my favourite has to be the Kickin Chicken curry pie from Chunk of Devon.

This lightly spiced pie is packed full of flavour from the chunks of tender chicken marinaded in curry spices mixed with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy coconut curry sauce. The buttery shortcrust pastry is lovely and crisp which compliments the filling and paired with some classic chunky chips this is my idea of a perfect pie.

Q&A with Bethany

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Usually I would choose my husbands homemade Chicken & Chorizo pie with a suet pastry top which is basically a huge dumpling and utterly delicious but for this I have chosen the Kickin’ Chicken Curry pie. It’s so full of flavour with just a hint of spice which I love.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: It’s got to be proper thick cut chips deep fried so they are crispy on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: To start I would choose a fish platter mostly because I can never just choose one thing! So on it would be some smoked salmon pate, lightly dressed handpicked crab and grilled oysters with a lemon and thyme butter with some sour dough bread and lots of salted butter – preferably black garlic butter which is absolutely delicious. Then a crab risotto topped with cod loin wrapped in parma ham with some roasted cherry tomatoes and finally a sticky toffee pudding with proper Devon clotted cream. I’ll be the size of a house when I’m finished!

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: I think four years… it’s a bit of a blur.

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Assorted! Anything from inputting invoices, posting on social media, answering the phones etc.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: No but it seems to be where I have ended up, I love eating and writing about food so I think I’m in the right place!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Definitely going out for some nice food and drinks with friends. Dinner, pub lunch, breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, anything. I’m looking forward to eating something that I haven’t had to cook or clear up.

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 2

Tracey is the second staff member to feature in our staff favourite pie series. Tracey has worked here for six years as a picker and packer in our warehouse as well as a delivery driver. She is also proficient in cutting our block cheeses down to size although this skill has been somewhat neglected over the past few months as we have kept her too busy in the packing room!

Chips are Tracey’s preferred accompaniment to pie and we have to agree that perfectly cooked chips – deliciously fluffy on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside – are hard to beat. The pie that Tracey has chosen as her favourite is the Homity, this is a slightly old fashioned Irish recipe given a Devon twist by Chunk of Devon. A vegetarian classic made with potato, mature Cheddar cheese, onion and garlic and topped with more cheese this is the ultimate cheese lovers delight. The topping is wonderfully oozy and the garlic and cream in this recipe make it rich and hearty – perfect for cold winter days.

Q&A with Tracey

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Homity Pie, different to having gravy in your pie and the flavour is lovely.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: Chips

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: Roast Dinner

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: Coming up to 6 years in August

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Picker

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: Yes from when I did a day at college when I was at school, then when I finished school and went onto college I studied Catering and Hospitality for 2 years.

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Meeting up with family

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It’s British Pie Week!

And just like that it’s the time of year again where the humble pie gets a publicity hit. British Pie Week celebrates everything good about the pie from the delicious buttery pastry (we’re into shortcrust but props to puff and suet pastry toppings too!) to the rich, more-ish filling we love all things pie and this week we want to share that love with you.

Chunk Pies are a very popular go to if staff have forgotten their lunch which funnily enough happens quite often (any excuse for a Chunk Pie for lunch!)
We’ve asked five of our fabulous staff members their favourite Chunk of Devon pie and we’re starting today with the Boss Man himself, Liam!

Liam has been at Isca for over 10 years now, he has been running the business for several years as his father (Tim) wanted to take a back seat.

Liam is very partial to the Ultimate Steak Pie, the classic combination of steak and gravy!
He does also have a close second favourite being the chicken, bacon and leek pie, which comes down to the creamy gravy and the perfect flavour combos.

 

Q&A with Liam

Q: Favourite Chunk Pie and why?
A: I have two Chunk pies that are up both up there, the Ultimate Steak pie and the Chicken, bacon and leek pie.
The steak is just what a good pie should be, tender meat with a hearty gravy, and the chicken and bacon is just the best flavour combination.

Q: Chips or mash?
A: Would depend on what I am having to accompany it but I think mash with pie definitely!

Q: If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 
A: Lamb roast with all the trimmings and a good old cheese board for pudding

Q: How long have you worked at Isca? 
A: 10 years plus

Q:  What is your role at Isca? 
A: Managing Director

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the food industry?
A: No, my main background is I.T (which still comes in very handy at Isca) but I hadn’t planned to be at Isca until in between jobs. Dad had some work for me and then I ended up staying; years later Dad wanted to take a backseat so I took on the running of the business and the rest is history as they say!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have been eased completely?

A: Seeing family and friends, playing sport again and going out for some good food again!

 

Look out for our chat with Tracey tomorrow..!

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British Pie Week: Chunk of Devon

Chunk logoWe couldn’t get through a whole British Pie Week without mentioning Chunk of Devon. These pie and savoury producers have been making their award-winning pies since 2006 at ‘the pie factory’ in Ottery St Mary. The combination of locally sourced ingredients and rich, buttery pastry results in some truly delicious pies. We asked members of the Isca Foods team what their favourite pies in the range were:

chicken & baconLiam – Managing Director – Chicken & Bacon Pie
This creamy chicken pie is a classic favourite among our staff and indeed the nation. In a study conducted by Jus-Rol last year to find out Britain’s favourite pies the Chicken & Bacon came in at number 9. Succulent chicken breast and thigh combined with smoked bacon and leeks in a creamy white wine sauce make this pie a delicious treat.

spicy jackTracey – Food Picker – Spicy Jack Pie
The Spicy Jack Pie is the newest addition to the Chunk range. Packed with jack fruit, squash, peppers and sweet potato this lightly spiced pie is bursting with flavour and, now wrapped in wholewheat pastry, is suitable for vegans!

 

steak & stiltonKarl – Floor Supervisor – Steak and Stilton Pie
The Steak & Stilton has already been mentioned this week so it’s no surprise that it comes up as one of our staff favourites. This pie is made with quality beef, tangy Stilton and buttery garlic mushrooms and is wrapped in delicious short crust pastry. What more could you want from a pie?

Bethany – Administrator – Kickin’ Chicken Curry Kickin_chicken_piePie
This pie has been a huge hit with our customers since its introduction a few years ago. Tender chicken chunks are cooked in a light and creamy curry sauce with onions, peppers and potato and wrapped in buttery shortcrust pastry. The filling is full of flavour with a slight kick for lovers of spicy curries!

For the whole of March we will be running a promotion on the Chunk of Devon Homity pies to celebrate Pie Week! This delicious vegetarian pie is filled with potato, mature Cheddar cheese, onion and garlic and topped with more West Country Cheddar cheese. Get in touch for full details!

Click here to view the whole Chunk of Devon range of pies, pasties and savouries. Happy Pie Week!Facebooktwitterinstagram

British Pie Week: Fish Pie

It’s British Pie Week! To celebrate we are posting recipes for our five favourite pie fillings all this week from Steak & Stilton to Goats Cheese & Butternut Squash. Today’s pie is an old fashioned Fish Pie.

This creamy, cheesy mash topped pie is a bit different from our other recipes. We’ve used smoked haddock, smoked salmon and cod but really this can be made with any fish you like. The mash is enhanced with butter and mature Cheddar as well as breadcrumbs and parmesan for a deliciously crunchy topping.

Ingredients (serves 4):haddock (2)
400g potatoes (preferably Maris Piper), peeled and cut into chunks
400ml milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
200g mature Cheddar, grated
150g cod, cut into chunks
150g smoked haddock, cut into chunksbarbers vintage
100g smoked salmon, sliced
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp parmesan, grated

Method:
1: Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add freshly boiled water and salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender, drain and leave to cool.
2: Heat the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, add the flour and stir to a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring regularly. Then add the mustard and half of the grated Cheddar.
3: Add the fish and stir to combine with the sauce. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
4: Heat the grill and mash the potatoes to your liking with the rest of the grated Cheddar.
5: Transfer the fish mix to a heatproof dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Add the breadcrumbs and parmesan and grill for 10-15 minutes or until the top has turned golden brown. Serve immediately.

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British Pie Week: Steak & Stilton

It’s British Pie Week! To celebrate we are posting recipes for our five favourite pie fillings all this week from Steak & Stilton to Goats Cheese & Butternut Squash. Today’s pie is a classic Steak & Stilton.

This is a classic for a reason, tender steak, hearty gravy and tangy blue Stilton all wrapped in buttery pastry. This is a comforting winter dish, guaranteed to warm you up this week.

Ingredients (serves 4):
400g braising steak, cut into cubes
25g plain flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, dicedstilton
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried thyme
400ml beef stock, made using 1 stock cube
150g Stilton
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 pack ready made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper

Method:
1: Put the steak in a bowl and toss together with the flour.
2: Heat the oil in a non stick sauce pan and fry until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.
3: Add more oil to the pan if necessary and fry the onion and garlic until softened.
4: Return the beef to the pan and add the stock, bay leaf, thyme and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hr 30 minutes or until the beef is tender. This can be done in advance.
5: Remove the bay leaf and crumble in the Stilton.
6: Pre heat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6.
7: Prepare a floured surface. Halve the pastry and roll into 2 balls. Take 1 and roll it out to the thickness of a £1 coin and the correct size diameter for your pie dish. Do the same for the lid.
8: Line your pie dish with the pastry and spoon in the filling, brush the rim with egg and add the lid. Trim the edges and crimp together to seal. Make a small hole in the centre and brush with the remaining egg.
9: Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately.

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British Pie Week: Butternut Squash & Goats Cheese Pie

It’s British Pie Week! To celebrate we are posting recipes for our five favourite pie fillings all this week from Steak & Stilton to Goats Cheese & Butternut Squash. Today’s pie is another favourite: Butternut Squash, Spinach & Goats Cheese.

This pie is our go-to vegetarian pie, the combination of savoury goats cheese with sweet roasted butternut squash is a delicious take on the traditional Greek dish Spanakopita, a feta and spinach filo pie. The filo is intensely crisp and more-ish whilst being super easy to prepare.

Ingredients (serves 4):capricorn goat
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 red onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
400g fresh spinach leaves
200g goats cheese, crumbled
4 sheets filo pastry
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method:
1: Pre-heat the oven to 220C, Gas Mark 7 and add 1 tbsp olive oil to a roasting dish.
2: Place the squash, onions, garlic and chilli flakes into the roasting dish and mix together well, ensuring an even covering of spices and oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
3: Meanwhile wilt the spinach: put the spinach in a pan of just boiled water for 1 minute. Remove and immediately place in a bowl of iced water. Set aside.
4: Remove the roasting dish from the oven and tip contents into your pie dish, add the spinach and goats cheese and stir to combine.
5: Brush the filo sheets with the remaining olive oil and layer onto the top of the pie dish until completely covered, scrunch up the ends.
6: Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve immediately.

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