Youth and young manhood… Or how to silence the doubters

In world which values youth above most other things, it seems odd that Luke Thomas has come up against such criticism in his so-far short career.

lukeThe 20-year-old chef from North Wales became the UK’s youngest head chef at the age of 18, and by the account of many of the country’s top chefs, he is the real deal.

But still there are comments from all sorts that he’s too young to handle it, he doesn’t have what it takes.

When I spoke to him, he was very sanguine about the support or otherwise of people in his industry, showing a mature attitude which one might not expect from one so young.

His stance, really, suggests that there will always be people who support you and you must value them, and there will always be those who doubt you, so you must learn to challenge them through your actions.

Not a bad rule for any of us.

Read the piece here.

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Meet the meat… Or an investigation into ethical veal

Everyone enjoys what they term good food, but perhaps if I suggest I’m a bit of a foodie, you’ll have an idea of the level of food obsession.

That’s not to say I have never eaten McDonald’s – I have, most recently about two years ago after a late night drive home from Bristol airport – or don’t understand the peculiar pleasure of jalapeño peppers eaten from the jar.

But generally, I’m a fan of delicious food out in places that pride themselves on delicious photo-22ingredients selected in season for their provenance and quality.

Food Adventures really grabbed me the first time I read about it.

it’s not some sort of supper club – the days out organised by the company will put you in the same room as some great cooks to hear all about their experience, take you on a wine tour round South Wales’ surprisingly varied vineyards and get you out in the countryside with foragers.

I got to go down the farm with Food Adventure to meet some frankly adorable veal calves before enjoying some of their meat for lunch.

I’d like to say it was tricky eating something with such an adorable face, but it wasn’t.

It was absolutely delicious.

Read the piece here.

Buon appetito!… Or how talented, intelligent cooks wrote their own success story

As one of three sisters, I see now I’m in my 30s that my parents missed a trick.

Had they trained us to sing, dance, play sport a la the Williams sisters or excel in some other way, we would have been onto a winner – in both financial and career terms.

Sadly they were not the sort of tiger parents who thought of our success from birth – a real chiappashame if you ask me – and we went our own separate ways.

The Chiappa sisters are three Welsh Italian sisters who are successful independently of each other, but also thriving as a package; celebrity cooks.

There is no suggestion here that they were forced into the kitchen at a young age, prodded by a frightening mum and dad determined to create a family dynasty.

But their family given skills, nous and talent in cooking and food mean that they have featured on television, on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel and in their own cookbook.

The best part is, not only are they great at what they do and gorgeous, but they’re also really, really nice.

Wonder if it’s too late for the McCrum sisters to launch some sort of Northern Irish cooking empire…?

Read the piece here