TEACHER Josh Walton had no idea that the culinary concept he cooked up while nursing a snapped Achilles tendon would turn out to be such a successful recipe.

Yet his ever-growing pop up food business Halloumination is proving to be a taste sensation across artisan markets and food festivals in Cheshire and beyond.

During the week, the 27-year-old Hartford resident teaches at Petty Pool Vocational College in Sandiway but come the weekend he and a growing team are making foodies ‘go weak at the knees for squeaky cheese’ with their tasty street food.

In 2017 Josh suffered an injury playing football and, in a bid to beat the boredom of being unable to move, began to ruminate over potential business ideas.

“I was in a lot of pain, I couldn’t move or do anything really, and there’s only so much daytime television or so many box sets you can watch,” said Josh.

“There was just one day when I thought, ‘what can I do today that’s productive’? What am I good at doing and how can I do that and make some money’?”

Having worked as a chef at Arley Hall and Gardens and The Windmill Inn in Tabley, Josh was already skilled at cooking and began to look for gaps in the artisan food market. After a few month’s research, it turned out that vegetarian favourite halloumi was the perfect product for him to work with.

Josh spent around seven months developing his idea and with support from Northwich Town Council and The Market Co, which organises Northwich’s monthly artisan market, launched his first pop up stall at Ashbourne Artisan Market in January 2018.

“Denise, who organises the markets saw what a success that was, so then offered me a space in Northwich, and then Wilmslow. I’m really grateful for that early support.

“We’re now so busy that there is always something on every weekend – we run three stalls a day each weekend across various markets and festivals – it’s been unbelievable.”

Josh describes the burgeoning business as a family orientated enterprise and has harnessed support from his relatives and friends as the demand for the tasty cheese snack has increased.

“Everyone has been really supportive. It started with my mum helping me out on the first few markets and now I’ve got friends who are part of the team which is great,” he said.

As to why his fries are so popular, Josh says it’s down to the quality of the cheese and the array of tasty toppings which whet his customers’ appetite.

“You can’t beat good quality, freshly cooked food. It’s something a little bit different, and the toppings really add something special, whether it’s sweet chill sauce, garlic mayo and lime, or balsamic glaze and sesame seeds.”

Although he’s not a vegetarian himself, Josh is partial to the company's halloumi burger, which he describes as ‘pretty mega’, and says his favourite fries topping is hoisin sauce with cucumber and spring onion.

In the next few months, Josh and his team will be serving up halloumi fries and burgers at events such as Beaumaris Food Festival and Mold Food Festival in north Wales, the Bolton Food Festival, as well slots closer to home at the regular artisan markets in Northwich and Wilmslow.

To find out more about where you can grab a serving of these tasty treats follow Halloumination on Facebook or Instagram.