Having 40 years experience as a classically trained chef my early career was working at the top five star hotels in London, including the Savoy and Claridges before being appointed to the position of Head Chef for the world renowned Roux Brothers.
Having spent a number of years as head chef and executive head chef in hotels, restaurants and banqueting centres around the UK, as well as head chef of the fish section on board the QE2, Cunard's luxury super liner, I decided to take my skills on the road and worked as a demonstration chef. This gave me the opportunity to combine my skills, experience and personality in demonstrating for a number of organisations and celebrity chefs on the International stage at prestigious shows and events nationwide. For a number of years I have worked for outside catering companies looking after blue chip companies and their clients at sporting events, such as Donington Park Super-bikes, Silverstone Grand Prix, Royal Ascot, Cowes Yacht Regatta, Twickenham and Wimbledon to name but a few. It was on the strength of this that i started my own outside catering company ‘Twist Events’. providing corporate hospitality to high profile companies at prestigious venues around the UK. During this time I acquired the Bear Hotel In Shropshire. This 16th century coaching Inn had 9 bedrooms, a 70 seater restaurant with banqueting for up to 100 covers. This busy time saw me as a part-time lecturer at Shrewsbury College of Catering and Chef Consultant for the Healthy School Meal Campaign in Shropshire. The last few summer seasons have seen me working as a Private Chef on board Super yachts and villas around the Mediterranean. Cooking and provisioning for crew and guests, using the best Mediterranean ingredients. During the winter seasons, I work at research stations on Antarctica, cooking for the British Antarctic Survey’s research team In this Inhospitable environment to ensure well balanced, nutritious, varied and creative meals are served on a regular basis.
I have now based myself in Leicestershire and when I am home I am able to offer Nutrition advice, dinner parties in your home or chosen venue, wedding catering, cookery demonstrations and cookery skills days.
I love my Job!
Thursday, 5 January 2012
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Conditions are good for flying and yet we are still waiting for the plane from Rothera to come in with much needed supplies. It was supposed to have arrived yesterday with 200kg of meat, which will see us through until the ship arrives so we continue to produce food with very little, hopefully it will be in tomorrow (Thursday 22nd Dec).
If they can see the plane
Ant Wondering what to do for lunch.
Andy Mac the Mechanic looks out into the vast expanse of white
Still no sign of a plane
Desperate for food Karl (project Manager) and Ben
(Winter Base Commander) resort to raiding the fridge.
Ian Tris and Gary discussing the day in the dining tent
Andy the winter meteorologist arrives from Hally V
with a few supplies.
With lunch over and dinner already prepared, myself
and Ant armed with our cameras go to see how the workers
are getting on. The picture shows under the modules where
the snow is has to be cleared, as wind tails form
The modules in position with machines under the link bridge
clearing the snow
Me sat on a Skidoo outside the red module
Ant walking from the modules back to the Drewry.
and to bed. I have the bottom bunk
leaning against the head board
that Carl the chippy made him in the shape of a chefs hat.
Carl also made him a shelf for his laptop so he can watch his films
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
With the Drewry building now situated at the new site and the Annex built to the side of it the accommodation block is fully operational and all rooms occupied with It's full compliment of summer staff.
We now have 60+ people on site that need feeding and to cater for this number there has had to be a logistics tent erected on the back of what was the Drewry dining room. This tent is now the new dining area and a walkway has been put in linking the two rooms.
The old dining area has become an office for the base commanders, the computer room and lounge area for the workers.
Nothing has really changed from last season, I am back in my old room but this time sharing with Ant, he Is the wintering chef this year and will be the first to stay and work in the new modules. This will be his 3rd winter and 5th summer here on Antarctica and I have to say, "It's a real pleasure working with this guy" he is a good chef, but completely bonkers.
There has been a lot of activity here at Halley VI, the construction guys are working flat out on the Modules to catch up on lost time, the vehical operators are busy with snow management keeping areas groomed and clearing snow build up from around buildings, the comms are up to their necks in getting the communication systems up and running and the Chefs are not only busy keeping everyone fed but have the added pressure of trying to create menus with no Ingredients.
We are running really low on food now, the Ship is not due in until end of December and we are already using food from what should be the emergency containers.
The last few meals produced have been using, what we call Munch! This is manfood that comes in packets, you just have to add water and is what all explorers take on expedition as an emergency keep you alive rations.
It is getting very tight, but we are still managing to come up with a variety of inventive
and creative cuisine. Nobody has complained yet, they still get 5 meals a day, although it is not always meat.
We have a plane coming in within the next week with supplies from Rothera to help us out and the ship will not be far behind. So no need to panic yet!
The system we are using for communications is the Iridium system, which is very slow and uses different satellites which keep dropping in and out of signal. Because of this facebook has been blocked to prevent the system getting clogged. Therefore to post this blog is quite a chore and takes an age to upload any pictures.
In order to keep you updated I will write my posts and upload pictures when I can.
I have a day off tomorrow (Wednesday) and i am going to take a walk over to the garage, where Martin Bell the Deputy Project Manager is going to give me Skidoo training, so i will be able to drive myself to Halley V the old base camp 16 clicks away.
Something to look forward to. I will also try and upload a few pictures of my trip last Sunday, to the Emperor Penguin colony at Windy creek, which was awesome with over 4,000 Penguins and their Chicks.
I'm off to bed now as it is 12.00 midnight and everyone else is tucked up fast asleep, which is an Ideal time to use the computer.
So until my next post, stay cool!
Thursday, 1 December 2011
I have added this link for you to follow. It will take you to Kirk Watson's Blog.
Kirk has been comissioned by BAS to film the building of Halley 6 here on the Brunt Ice Shelf.
This short film is of our journey to Halley via Union Glacier, just to give you an Idea of what we went through. You will also see a short film of the Solar Eclipse which happened last Friday at 5.00am plus a few other films of Halley..
It is a good insight into my working environment...
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Our Weather Haven tent that we all started off
One of our regular walks around the parimeter
This was with Karl (Project Manager), Ant (Wintering Chef)
and Carl (Summer Carpenter)
A shot of me with the Union Glacier Christmas Tree
The Mountains at Union Glacier, with high winds
blowing the snow off the peaks
Another shot with the sun hitting the Ice on the Mountain.
With all our kit on board, it just remains for us
to climb on and take our seats.
With last minute checks it is not long before we are airbourne
and winging our way across the Ice.
Myself and Ant at the back of the Bassler with a four hour
journey ahead of us
The view from our window of large cracks in the sea Ice.
At last we are on our way to the Brunt Ice shelf, much to the relief of the winterers
that have been at Halley since we left last season.
As we fly at an altitude of 13,000 feet, the air is thin and at times it is difficult to breath, but it is not long before we land at Halley and are met by Ben Mapston the wintering base commander and Jenny the wintering Doctor.
We are taken by Sno Cat and Sledge to the Drewry building where we will be living this season. After sorting our rooms out and having had a welcome meal we all retire to bed, tired from our adventure.. Tomorrow is another day, when we will be starting work and getting back to cooking on the Ice.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Flying over the Andies on our flight
to Punta Arenas
We were all glad to be on the ground and heading for the Hotel, it had been a long trip down and we were all pretty tired
Karl Tuplin the project Manager checking cargo
at ALE Logistics
The Kit bags were all there except mine,
that one had been packed in a seperate container
which i could not access until i get to Halley.
So I was issued with new gear.
Nigel and Steve in the lobby of the Hotel
waiting to go
On board the Yllusion aircraft with Nigel
in front of me looking at the Russian crew member
as we prepare for take off
A shot of myself as we prepare to land on the Ice
We were all tired by now.
Flying over Antarctica as we made our final approach
to Union Glacier.
The Yllusion on the ice, with a track vehical
and a six wheeled truck to take us to the camp.
Karl Tuplin and our camera man Kirk
standing on the runway.
We were given a welcome briefing which included a few camp rules before dinner.