A chat with James Whetlor of Cabrito, the award-winning goat meat company and supplier of our goat hides.
You were originally a chef, how did you get into the food industry?
I grew up in a small seaside town, Lyme Regis in Dorset, where the jobs you got as a kid were always in restaurants and takeaways, cooking or waiting tables, so it’s all I’ve ever done really. I love the pace of kitchens and the hum of a dining room — always have.
When was the first time you ate goat meat?
I was working at The Eagle in Farringdon in 2008-ish and Mary Holbrook [of Sleight Farm goat cheeses] dropped some off for us to try. I can’t really remember giving it too much thought at the time though. I certainly didn’t see a portent of Cabrito!
In a sentence, why should we be eating more goat?
Because it is delicious!
Do you see food waste as a big issue?
It’s the biggest issue in food right now and the easiest to tackle. The case needs to be made on a combination of environmental, ethical and economic factors. Food waste, and maybe even waste more generally, needs to be restricted to a 20th Century phenomenon.
Who was Otzi and why is he important?
Otzi the Iceman lived in the Italian Alps in around 3500 BC, just as humans were starting to farm in Europe. His body was found almost perfectly preserved in a glacier in 1991 and the discovery gave an extraordinary insight into early farming and lifestyles.
He was found wearing goat leather trousers and had half a kilo of goat meat in his stomach. Otzi proves how central to life goats were even 5500 years ago and they have remained central to human lives all over the world ever since. Goats thrive on the margins, allowing humans to live in otherwise difficult environments.
Finally, what is one thing you believe that other people think is crazy?
Other than I can convince the Great British public that goat meat deserves a place on their menu…? How about that I’m still young and fit enough to play competitive sport? My girlfriend certainly thinks that’s crazy.