I completed my chef training within the Royal Navy in 1996 after leaving my home town of Sunderland. Over the eight years I was in the Navy I travelled to many countries including Brasil, India, China, America, Norway, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Africa, France, Spain, U.A.E, Holland, Azores, Austrailia, Lithuina, Poland, Aruba, Mexico ..... the list continues. In 2000 I gained the rank of Leading Chef and was galley manager of H.M.S Westminster until leaving the service. In 2003 I decided to leave the Navy and invest in my own restaurant. For five years I owned the Willow Restaurant in Linconshire winning several awards, whilst studying toward a Foundation Degree in Food Manufacturing. Once I completed the degree I sold the restaurant and pursued a career in education at The Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. I gained my assessors award then worked toward the Certificate in Education which I completed in 2010. As well as teaching I manage and organise the Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition which is a national competition for colleges.
My connection with seafood
My early career took me around the world and gave me an insight into world cuisine and ingredients,of course, including seafood. Now based in Grimsby I am inspired by the seafood tradition of the town.
Why sustainability is important to me
I feel that its so important for chefs to not only focus on sticking to the seasons regarding fruit, veg and herbs which is a common practice to ensure we get the best produce, but its just as important for chefs to understand that fish also falls into this category. There are months when its best to source certain seafood species and the Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition helps start to educate young chefs regarding this.