Food & Drink Monday, August 22nd Words by: Adam Knight, pictures by: BOHNS, Illustration by Herefordshire Live

Hereford Indie Food: Meet spice boy Tom Bohn

Food & Drink Monday, August 22nd

Hereford Indie Food: Meet spice boy Tom Bohn

All this week we're spotlighting some of the movers and salt shakers gracing the first Hereford Indie Food (August 27/28).

First up is a Q&A with Tom Bohn, who grew up in Hereford before following his tastebuds over the horizon. From mountain kitchens to fleeing pirates from the galleys of Mediterranean superyachts, Tom has since settled down in Derbyshire where he has created a knockout range of dry rubs and mayos.

We caught up with him to find out what he has in store for the weekend, and why all BOHNS rubs come with a happy ending.  

Tom Bohn, Hereford born king of the rubs.


Hi Tom, what’s up?

Currently sat watching the Olympics. It’s been great cheering on Team GB in something that only happens every four years. It’s such an inspiring couple of weeks and has actually made me consider starting fencing.

What’s your story?

Once university had finished back in 2010 I had my heart set on getting over to Canada to live and work for six months. I left the UK with £128 to my name, a suitcase and my best mate. We touched down in Vancouver and travelled up to Whistler where I was lucky enough to find myself a job as a prep chef in Whistler’s top bar and BBQ joint. It was here I learnt the art of real BBQ, and it was here that inspired me to create my own recipes with the intention of one day using them on my own events catering business in years to come.

Between then and now I have also travelled most of Europe and tried pretty much every cuisine imaginable… and still my favourite – the BBQ. I worked in the superyacht industry as a deckhand, sailed the Med and even got chased by pirates sailing to Dubai, but that’s a story for another time.

For the three years I was yachting I always found myself working in the galley with the chefs and trying out my new recipes on the crew. It was these guys that helped me perfect some of the recipes I have today. At times they could be awfully critical.

Where is the best place you've ever eaten?

Very predictable, I know, however the best place I have eaten would have to be Dusty’s Bar and BBQ in Whistler. Although I worked there for six months I never got bored of the food and everything taste SO GOOD!

Who does the best BBQ?

From what I've read over the years it would have to be Texas. I am currently reading this book called Franklin Barbecue. A Meat-smoking Manifesto. If you like your food and BBQ, it’s a must-read. My next place to visit on the list is one of the Franklin Barbeque restaurants in Texas.

What do you have in store for Hereford Indie Food?

Besides the eye candy that is my father-in-law Jeff, we will be bringing some of most mouth-watering pulled pork cobs you will have ever tasted. We use quality meat from one of the top butchers in Derbyshire, which will be rubbed in our very own Butt Massage, cooked low and slow in our smoker and then pulled and marinated in our own secret BBQ sauce recipe.

We have our brioche rolls made for us too by a Derbyshire bakery, and all of our coleslaw used to top off the cob is hand-made in small batches to ensure consistency and quality taste.


Aside from your delicious rubs, what are you most looking forward to trying at the new festival?

Besides the booze, I’m rather looking forward to trying some food from The Cyprus Kitchen featuring Farmer Tom. It looks and sounds incredible.


What good to drink with BOHNS?

It’s got to be one of my favourite drinks – spiced rum and ginger beer.

Do people now know you as ‘the guy with a great butt massage’?

Of course. I have also been known to give some of the best Breast Enhancer.

What’s the key to a good backyard BBQ?

In my opinion, the US and Canada have the perfect backyard BBQ mentality. It’s more of an event out there than it is in the UK, but times are changing and slowly the UK is catching on. It’s all about the low and slow cooking procedures and they take great pride in spending hours and hours perfecting the food until it’s just right… no matter how long it takes.

Here in the UK we will dig out the disposable BBQ, burn a few sausages before it starts to rain, get pissed and job’s a good’un. However the key to the perfect backyard BBQ is patience a little knowledge... and, of course, some BOHNS finest rubs.

Always apply the rubs to meat about one hour before cooking and let the meat warm up to room temperature. That will let the seasoning ‘sweat’ into the meat, and the warmer meat will shave off hours of cook time. The goal is to get it evenly distributed with the right concentration over the entire surface of the meat. If you apply the rub more densely or more sparsely in certain areas, patches of meat will cook unevenly, yielding splotchiness, dry patches and general mayhem over the course of a multihour cook.

I can already feel myself rambling on. There are many more steps to the perfect BBQ, but I think I have covered the most important – rubbing your meat in BOHNS! Oh, and maybe a bit of Fleetwood Mac in the background.

If you weren’t making mouth-watering rubs – what do think you’d be doing?

Fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a Blue Peter presenter.

You’ve got a big family. Do you now get stuck with feeding the Bohn clan when you get together?

Normally when the family get together, I am on my holiday so I refuse to cook for such a large group. However, I am always the supplier for the rubs and spices to add that irresistible flavour to even the worst of dishes. Normally one of my brothers – not you mum, you’re a great cook.

When you go out to eat, are you more white tablecloths or plastic cutlery?

I like to go somewhere I can eat with my hands, whether it be burgers or pizza. I might push the boat out on Valentine’s Day if she’s been well-behaved and go for fine dining, but sometimes that’s too posh for me.

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If, like us,  talking to Tom has your tastebuds dancing, make sure to swing by Hereford Indie Food this weekend. If you just can't wait, visit BOHNS.

Herefordshire Live is the media partner of Hereford Indie Food 2016

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