What is your name?
What class do you teach and at what level?
NVQ Professional Cookery Levels 2 and 3
Level 4 Hospitality Management
What is your background?
I left school at 16, with 3 O Levels (just about), I undertook a YTP course for a year, got a job and went back to college on day release. At the age of 30 I realised I had got it all wrong so I went back to college and started the journey completing my NVQ level 4 in Professional Cookery, Advanced Diploma in International Culinary Arts and then a BSC Degree in International Culinary Arts. Shortly after I got my teaching job at SERC and when working here I then attained my Post Grad. Who would have thought it from YTP to Post Grad, that’s why I love Catering and Hospitality, it really has given me so many opportunities to progress.
How long have you been working at SERC?
About 12 years full time and 2 years part time.
What is your industry experience?
I worked for 18 years in the Culloden Esate and Spa, seems like a long time for a chef but I worked my way up from a Chef de Partie position to Head Chef, so my role was ever changing and evolving. Before that I had short stints at Harveys in Belfast. A year of disillusion with catering doing bar work and before that I worked in the long gone Conway Hotel and I started my career in the Stormont Hotel many moons ago.
What is your go to comfort meal at home?
Beans on toast, the toast must have loads of butter and maybe some cheese melted on the beans.
Who is your favourite famous Chef?
If I was asked this 15 years ago I most probably would have said Gary Rhodes or Gordan Ramsey but now I would say I don’t have a favourite, I'm like a magpie I steal recipes from all of them.
What is the most essential item in your kitchen?
Someone to clean up after me!
What is your food heaven?
Anything with truffles or a good strong blue cheese or maybe venison, let's just go for the three items served together.
What is your food hell?
Hairy fruit – peaches, kiwi fruit…why? It's just wrong!
If you had the chance, which person, dead or alive, would you invite to your dinner party and what would you serve?
It’s a dinner party so there will be a few I need to invite, Jim Morrison (The Doors), Anthony Bourdain (Chef), Quagmire (Family Guy), Madness (The whole band including Chas Smash) and my first Head Chef Chris Crowe. It would have to be a medieval banquet with lots of MEAT!