Together, David Hieatt and his wife Clare have founded three of our favourite companies.
First came Howies, a clothing brand with brochures so beautifully engaging that we couldn’t bear to throw them away. Our favourite page was always the ‘library’, which listed the books you could borrow, FOC, from their collection, but there were also words so well crafted they read like poetry, and t-shirt designs so original that we wanted them all. The Do Lectures came next, a unique festival of ideas based around speakers who don’t just talk about things, but do them. From experts in birth to mindfulness, speakers on responsible business to the importance of humour in everyday life – the talks cover a huge range of topics. (You can watch Alison and David’s talk, on the importance of eccentricity, here.) And most recently followed Hiut Denim, a brand so cool that even their ‘No Wash’ club was one we immediately wanted to be a part of. Their jeans are really something.
David and Clare are inspirational in plenty of ways, but their attitude to food is particularly important to us. The Do Lectures have a whole spate of talks related to food’s importance in the world. They recognise that ‘what you eat is more than mere sustenance. Meals can be an artform, an experiment, a way of connecting to the people you care about. Food is love.’ We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
David is an intensely focused individual who gets things done. A Doer, not a talker.
WHO TAUGHT YOU TO LOVE FOOD?
I think I got really interested in food when I started living with Clare. We started living together in New York, although we are from the same south wales village. Our treats would always be to go out to somewhere nice to eat. Then when we had kids, we went out less. But continued to eat just as well. So yeah, Clare taught me the love of food.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
Well, I won’t count picking daffodils in Jersey when I quit school so I didn’t have to do A levels. And I won’t count cleaning car tyre wheels for Guy Salmon car rental when I got kicked out of college. My first proper job, which my parents could admit to their friends about, was as a writer for the world’s most creative advertising agency called Saatchi and Saatchi. I couldn’t spell. And I thought a colon was something you went to hospital for. But I had ideas. And I had a hoot.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO EAT OUT?
We don’t go out enough. I sit in and watch chef’s table on Netflix and admire them. It’s a tough old business. But the cream does rise to the top. If Scott Davies had a place I would go there, If I could find the time to get there, I would go to Wrights Food Emporium which I hear is amazing. And the Grove in Narbeth does it well.
WHAT’RE YOUR THREE FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
Potatoes fresh from the ground. Spring onions. Hafod cheese.
WHAT DOES HALEN MON GO BEST WITH?
Boiled eggs from chickens that you have fed. Sourdough that you have just pulled out of the oven. Then a little salt from you guys… Doesn’t get any simpler. Or better.
DESCRIBE WALES IN FIVE WORDS
Humble. Humour. Honest. Community. Creative.
WHERE DO YOU THINK IS AN EXCITING FOOD SCENE OR CITY?
I would like to go to Copenhagen. I would like to go to Noma before it closes. Rene wears our Tech jeans so it would good to meet him. But I think there is a cluster of people doing interesting spurred on by what he has done. So yeah, be good to go there.
WHAT’S THE MOST UNDERUSED INGREDIENT?
WHAT DO YOU EAT WHEN YOU GET HOME FROM A LONG DAY AT WORK?
Right now, Clare is hitting Anna Jones food very hard. So am loving that. It makes you feel good. And tastes so fresh in all its flavours.
Illustrations: Jess Lea-Wilson