Adam Demosthenous and his sister are the sourdough specialists behind Battersea hit, and terrifically-named, Flour to the People! It's their marvelous margherita pizza that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats.
We had a lovely chat with Adam, here's what he had to say.
1. Tell us briefly what your business is about
Sourdough! From breakfast and brunch, to sandwiches and pizzas! We cultivate six ‘mother doughs’ or starters. We also want to make as much as we can from scratch including butter, jams, marmalade, chocolate hazelnut spread, hollandaise, mayo, beans, and all our baked goods.
Our signature dish is our eggs Benedict served on homemade sourdough crumpets. The Neapolitan sourdough pizzas are made by a highly skilled pizzaiolo, who is over here learning English and teaching us. His previous role was as a teacher of pizzaiolos in Geneva and Napoli.
2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.
My family are Cypriot and my sister and I spent many summers in Cyprus. My grandmother used to bake in an outside wood-fired oven and make sourdough bread regularly. Well, it was just called bread in those days. Artificial yeast was not used, as was the tradition of villages in Cyprus. These were informative years as I obviously loved whatever my grandmother baked and was curious.
My parents owned various cafés and restaurants in London, and so we were raised working in this area. I personally studied music and worked in the voluntary and public sectors, but came back to the idea of running a café recently. Opening a sourdough bakery was an obvious starting point. My sister and I both own this place and have had a steep but enjoyable learning curve.
3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?
Since opening Flour to the People! there has not been much time to enjoy all that London offers, preferring to relax with friends. Although I do have a BFI membership and try to watch what interests me. Concerts and theatre are also something I try to go to when I have the time.
4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu?
Initial research, visiting places that interested me. I have always wanted to open a good quality breakfast/brunch café. It’s hard to find a place that does a simple poached egg well!
We also have a collaborative approach to developing the menu, as long as it can be made from scratch and is centred around sourdough. Employees, colleagues and customers, past and present, have left their mark.
But of course, my grandmother and her bread has always been the starting point.
5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.
I can play the piano and clarinet, not as well as I used to though. Finding time to practise is hard.
6. What's the most popular item on your menu?
Eggs Benedict-ish for breakfast or brunch, and the classic Margherita pizza in the evening.
7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?
I love Cypriot food and crave my mothers cooking; she often freezes oven ready dishes during her frequent visits. But I try my hand at tava, a dish made in certain mountain villages in Cyprus, of slow-cooked lamb and rice with cinnamon and cumin.
But more often than not, beans on toast! Made with sourdough, of course...
8. What's next for your business?
We are developing a lunch menu. We want to get it right and so we’re trying various things. Keep up to date on social media!
9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?
Armistead Maupin, Kate Bush, and Rupaul. My favourite author, musician and drag queen. This probably says too much about me... Never mind...
10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?
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