Jochem van Ast – Finance Manager

What do you do?

I pay the wages, invoice the invoices and balance the books.

Why do you do it?

I love the variety: it sounds like a cliché, but every day really is different.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I like to sing. This isn’t as silly as it sounds. I divide my days between Quietroom and my life as a professional opera singer. I sing at big places like the Royal Opera House or English National Opera. And small places, like Hatstand Opera and Opera a la Carte. And when this hasn’t been possible during lockdown, I’ve been singing (mainly to Harry the cat) at our kitchen sink.

What do you knead for pleasure?

How can something that’s healthy be unhealthy? When you’re unnaturally obsessed with it. That’s my problem with sourdough bread. The process of taking a sticky, bubbly, smelly batter and turning it into a beautiful artisanal loaf is seriously addictive. My name’s Jochem, and I am a sourdough addict. There, I’ve said it.