The Pass podcast will end in October - founder Paul Newbegin tells The Staff Canteen why

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th August 2019

Podcast has become a real buzz word when it comes to the hospitality industry, but this hasn’t always been the case.

Paul Newbegin started The Pass three years ago because he couldn’t find a podcast dedicated to chefs. He has since interviewed some of the best chefs in the UK and what began as a hobby has seen him attend the GQ Awards.

The Pass has thousands of listeners a week from around the world and Paul has become a well-known face in the hospitality world.

It came as a surprise when he announced this series would be his last. The Staff Canteen spoke to him about why he wanted The Pass to end, why he is so passionate about the hospitality industry and which chef would pull him out of retirement.

[Listen to the full interview above]

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Paul and Marcus Wareing 

“There’s not anybody I wouldn’t ask,” explained Paul when talking about The Pass final line-up. A self-confessed foodie, he realised very quickly after launching his podcast that his passion was high end, Michelin chefs.

He has since ticked off several of his ‘dream guests’ and said: “I set this up and I said if I could interview Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton or Heston, any of those three, I would down tools and say that I had won.

“I did a GQ Food and Drink special and I got Marcus and Jason – so two out of three isn’t bad!”

He added: “I got Ashley Palmer-Watts, that’s as close as I’ve got to Heston but if he calls me after this I’ll come out of retirement.”

Paul thinks it’s "brilliant" that there are now so many food related podcasts available and explains that his frustration was always that the number one food podcast was, is and probably always will be Jesse Ware.

“Number one should be chefs and about chefs,” said Paul. “Look at what Paul Foster is doing – I’m sure he will get to number one because people want to hear about these fascinating people who dedicate their lives to something.”

He added: “I’ve been approaching Paul since pretty much series one so when he announced he was doing his own, I then didn’t feel like he just didn’t want to be on my show!

“I’ve not listened to an episode of his yet, I never wanted my podcast to be about me but what I’ve seen and what I like of Paul’s is you get his and his guest’s joint stories.”

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Paul and Jason Atherton 

So why does he want to bring his podcast to a close?

“As soon as you turn your passion into your job you have to look at it differently. I’m at a stage now where I might not be able to interview a chef I want to because they don’t have an affiliation with a certain product or use a certain brand because that brand would potentially be giving me money.

“I think I would be lying if I said I would never pick it up again because it’s a passion and a hobby, but I’ve achieved everything I wanted to do and more. It would have to be a big opportunity for that to happen – a Heston or a Gordon!”

As someone who spends his time interviewing Michelin chefs, it seemed only right to ask him his predictions for this year’s guide which will be announced on October 7.

“Before I started the podcast, as a diner, I wouldn’t consider a restaurant without a star. I’ve realised that a star is an amazing achievement but it’s one collective of peoples' opinions. Of all the chefs I’ve interviewed, 100 percent of them would take a busy restaurant over a star if they had to choose.

“This year I’d love to see Skosh in York get a star, Cornerstone and Aktar Islam’s Opheem.”

Talking about his final series and the chef line-up Paul says he was conscious of who the final episode should be with.

He said: “Even though I’m proud of every episode, I wanted the last one to be an episode that if I never do it again, I could say ‘at least that is how it ended’.

Although this is Paul’s final series, he has episodes planned until October and he is keeping his last guest firmly under wraps – so if you love The Pass you still have a few episodes left to enjoy.

* Go to The Pass podcast to hear all of Paul's interview now 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th August 2019

The Pass podcast will end in October - founder Paul Newbegin tells The Staff Canteen why