Monday 17 April 2017

Meet the Pie-ducer: Calum from Holborn Dining London

One of the things we really enjoy on the Pierate Ship is meeting the guys and girls up and down the land who make the pies that we really enjoy eating. As such we’ve created a “Meet the Pie-ducer” series of interviews, where we lift the lid on those who are looking to piefect their trade…

Holborn Dining Room, Holborn, London

Head Chef: Calum Franklin
Based: Holborn, Central London
Sells in: Holborn Dining Room, London, WC1V 7EN
Website: or Calum's personal Twitter feed

Calum Franklin Pork Pie Review
Calum Franklin Pork Pie at Holborn Dining Room

Calum Franklin
Calum Franklin
The pie page on the Holborn Dining Room website begins with the slightly understated first line of "Holborn Dining Room Executive Head Chef Calum Franklin has kept London foodies talking with his artful creations..."

I'd personally say less talking, more drooling! For the craftsmanship on Calum's pastry creations would be enough to make anyone go "wow!" as he creates pastry decor to pie-fection - some of which take over 4 hours to create, such is the intricate detail in the pastry work (see the tweet below). When he kindly allowed me to join him for a chat during British Pie Week, he only had half of his giant, multi-layered Pork and Black Pudding Pie left, such had been the demand for it. And that certainly wasn't the first one of those giant pies he'd made that week! Sure, there may have been a bit of spike in demand during Pie Week, but people were coming from near and far to get just a slither of one of Calum's top notch pies!

On the a la carte menu, Calum is looking forward to releasing his new Mutton Curry Pie, one which he says he is particularly looking forward to seeing the reaction to. These certainly aren't your typical pies - and the customers at Holborn Dining Room would expect nothing less - so the bar is always set high and Calum is certainly delivering.

Having originally trained in Birmingham at the then College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies (now UCB), Calum has been at Holborn Dining Room for three years now and is keen to change the menu slightly from having just one pie on rotation to a wider ranged pie menu. There are plans in place to provide a steak and kidney steamed suet pie, alongside a chicken, mushroom and cider shortcrust pie and the Mutton Curry Pie in puff pastry - alongside the classic pork pies they already sell. Different flavours, different pastries. Calum and his team of chefs are being trained up well to rise to the challenge of professional pie making.

Calum Franklin Pork Pie Review
Calum Franklin Pork and Black Pudding Pie at Holborn Dining Room
It was the training element that Calum mentioned which really got my attention as we chatted. Having admitted when he first started in pastry that he had quite a lot to learn, he is now not happy just to master the art himself, but he is training up the pastry chefs of tomorrow in his kitchen. Trainee chefs from around the UK (and even the world) have been requesting time to learn skills in pastry work with Calum, and they could certainly go far worse than learning from the pastry master himself! And with plans to create a dedicated pie room with a serving hatch onto the street, they really are taking their pies seriously!

We very much enjoyed our taster in pie week and look forward to visiting Holborn Dining Room to rate the selection of pies on the pie menu once it launches! Until then, we'll just have to stick to drooling over the pie photos Calum regularly posts on his Twitter feed! Many thanks to Calum for meeting us and donating a few slices of pie to us to try!


Here are the pie makers in our "Meet the Pie-ducer" series:
Calum from Holborn Dining Room  |  Dee from Dee's Pies  |  Stephen from Kandy Bar Bakery

You can view all our Pie-ducer interviews by clicking here!

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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