French know-how saves the English pork pie
Sunday 27 June 1999
For 170 years the Leicester pie maker Walker and Son has traded on its reputation for quality, becoming one of the country's biggest producers of mini Melton Mowbray pies.
But in the cut and thrust of the late-1990s world of pork, tradition would not suffice. Far too many of the company's pastry shells were turning out tilted or with a cracked crust.
A call for help brought in Herve Mazenod, a 26-year-old Frenchman. The nearest Monsieur Mazenod's previous culinary experience had come to a pork pie was pate en croute, but he and fellow engineers from De Montfort University used their expertise to discover why the pies were not coming up to scratch. The problem? A combination of machine and human error. As good cooks know, pastry is very sensitive to changes in temperature, but M Mazenod pointed out that it is also affected by the way it is moulded and mixed.
The solution? Gallic charm. M Mazenod used his to persuade the entire workforce to work in the same way. Or put another way: follow the recipe to the letter.
According to Mike Deacon, chief engineer at Walker and Son, staff had been reluctant at first to believe a newcomer, perhaps particularly a Frenchman, could teach them anything. But he could - and saved the company pounds 150,000 a year.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...