Can you tell us a little about how you got involved with the industry?
Originally it all started by watching the Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr on television. He would create wonderful, exciting dishes, then sit down and pour himself a large glass of wine, even at a young age I thought to myself, I want a bit of that! That’s when I decided to pursue a career in the catering and hospitality world. I left school and before I started at college that summer I worked for three months at a butchers. This was where I learnt many cutting techniques, as well as where certain cuts of meat came from. This put me in a good position for when I started my college course.
If you had to sum up three positives and three negatives of being a chef what would they be?
Being a chef is the most enjoyable thing ever; the people that you surround yourself with are some of the most passionate people around. Of course you cannot get on with everyone, but in the main for me it’s the people, so that’s the first positive. Secondly, it’s about being creative and having the chance to use your skill, flair and imagination in different ways, not just stuck behind a desk all day. Thirdly it’s the fun side, in the kitchen everyone is focused and knows just what and how to do their task so as to ensure service goes so well. As for negatives, I do try and make the best I can out of every situation, so I drive a positive from any negative I get/feel, but I suppose if I were to have to name three they would be not always working with the very best ingredients, time constraints and the hours that sometimes have to be done.
What’s the best thing about being involved with the Craft Guild of Chefs?
The chance to talk, network and be around likeminded chefs who exchange ideas and share best practice. Over the years I have met some of the most wonderful people, not just chefs but suppliers and other food related people through the Craft Guild.
When you aren’t cooking and creating, what would we find you doing to relax?
Tricky question, most of my time is devoted to food - how to create and talking about it, often over a glass or two of red wine! However, I have just bought a boat, so being out in the water is often a great way to relax. I also enjoy playing tennis and trying to play golf!