Two-times winner of the ‘We Love A Pickled Egg Award’, the Cock Tavern in Hackney, London has a deadly selling weapon in the form of Luke Molloy the Pickle Boy . Read on to find out why love for the pickled egg knows no bounds in the Cock….
How did your nickname come about, Luke?
My name is Luke Molloy, so when I got into the egg game, naturally the regulars in the pub started calling me Luke Molloy the Pickle Boy.
When did you first discover your love of pickled eggs?
I’ve always been a fan of the pickled egg, but it was when I was at The Cock Tavern that I fell into my element. At the time I didn’t know much about the beers, so I focused a lot on the eggs. It really tickled me that I was convincing so many people to try them – for some people it was their first ever pickled egg experience! So I think it’s great that 2 years later, The Cock Tavern still has and sells A LOT of eggs – enough to win the award twice in a row.
What would you say are the top 3 tips that won The Cock Tavern its pickled egg awards. Why DO customers at the Cock eat so many pickled eggs?
The Cock Tavern’s top tips for winning the award is that you need to really love your eggs, and offer a full range. With such a variety, it’s hard for customers to say no. If there was just one lonely jar of eggs, dusty on the bar, people can easily dismiss it. If there’s eight gleaming jars in a row, it’s harder to say no! Also you have to maintain the reputation – the legacy of the eggs has spread around Hackney and customers enjoy it, they like the history of it, the stories of people eating them and the eggstreme eggcentricity of the pickled eggs themselves. They’re not just for old men, you know – we’ve got all the hipsters munching on pickled eggs! My third tip would be adding a good dose of healthy competition. We have a Leader Board in the pub celebrating the fastest pickled egg eaten. It’s quite a challenge, only for the bravest egg-eaters.
What’s the most memorable pickled egg session you remember at the Cock?
I think the best egg session was when Finlay Brown came into The Cock and ate a pickled egg in 3.3 seconds. I don’t think anyone in the world will ever beat that record. It was a beautiful moment.
Is there a particular pickled egg convert story that you can share?
The best converts are the ones that sit at the bar for hours, staring at the eggs, exclaiming they don’t like pickled eggs. They later confess that they never tried one, but have been watching other people all night, buying and enjoying them. It’s always a satisfying moment when they finally crack.
Does your pickled egg missionary work extend beyond bar work at the Cock?
Being an egg missionary never ends. My work has spread, people know about The Pickle Boy and more places are selling pickled eggs. However they don’t know it’s me, I’m like the Bansky of the egg world. And instead of art, I’ve set up the Pickle Boy Comedy Nights, which have featured some of the biggest names in live comedy, and setting pickled egg records in front of live crowds of up to 200 people. I’m always hatching new ideas on how to keep pickled eggs in the public eye.
What would you rather be doing than answering these questions right now?
Well, I’ve just booked a ticket to Australia in 5 weeks time. I’m going to try get some good eggsposure at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Australians are a bit more resistant to the concept of the pickled egg, so it should be interesting. Right now, I’d rather be there!
What is the question you’re glad I didn’t ask that I can ask the next Pickled Purveyor?
I would like you to ask the next purveyor “how quick can you eat a pickled egg?”
What would be your number one policy if you became the Minister for Breggsit?
If I were the Minister for Breggsit, my number one policy would be that all citizens would receive a mandatory pickled egg at midday everyday, to be eaten in silence for up to 1 minute.
Thank you so much Luke for a fantastic interview and we are truly in awe of your dedication to the pickled egg mission. Long may you reign!!