Episode 21 Alex Aitken
The Jetty and Michelin star chef

Imagine. You’re about to open your first restaurant to the public. Your wife, who’s front of house, is 8 ½ months pregnant. You’re the chef –and you’ve never cooked professionally before. But you buy a couple of recipe books and some chef whites, and off you go. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet this is what Alex Aitken did in 1983.

It was the start of a Michelin-starred career which has evolved in incredible ways and is still going strong. Today, Alex is spreading his love of locally sourced food – whether foraged, fished or farmed –through a growing number of award-winning restaurants, carrying ‘The Jetty’ name.  

As you will hear, his passion for sourcing food sustainably harks back to his teenage years as a deck hand on North Sea trawlers. He’s got hair-raising tales of mistaking World War II mines for bumper catches… and a mischievous tale about why he likes fiddling with the music volume while you’re eating your meal in his hotel restaurants. It’s only a bit of fun… Enjoy

Episode 20 – Joy Michaud and Sea Spring Seeds

After studying grasslands and moving to the USA for a while – Joy came back to the UK to start growing her very own produce. The famous Dorset Naga chilli was grown on her land, in a cold little town in Dorset much to everyone surprise. Now she not only sells the Dorset Naga seeds but produces lots of chilli and vegetable varieties – including her 8-feet tall chilli plant Nigel.

Episode 20 Joy Michaud
Sea Spring Seeds

Michael and Joy Michaud at Sea Spring Seeds are chilli growing experts who took the world by surprise one April 1st, when they revealed they’d developed the world’s hottest chilli plant, the Dorset Naga. It wasn’t an April fool, even though it seemed absurd that this world record-breaking chilli had been reared in a lush, damp corner of Dorset, far removed from its original Bangladeshi home.

The patience and dedication it takes to develop a unique and world first type of chilli was a real eye opener.  The Dorset Naga is just one of many wonderful chillis  grown by the couple – along with a wide range of vegetable seeds, carefully selected for their productivity and flavour, like the tender sweet roots of the Primo carrot!

In this programme I get some great chilli-culinary tips  from Joy… as well as an insight into the huge dedication and patience that goes into creating those tiny miracles: seeds….

Episode 19 – William Curley

William was already a cooking legend in his 20s. He’s seen the chocolate & patisserie industry grow and develop, seen the reputation for food made in the UK change – and won countless awards for his work. Learn all about William’s journey and get your tastebuds tingling at the thought of chocolate in this weeks episode.

Episode 19 William Curley
Searcys, Harrods, Claridges +

When it comes to chocolatier-patissiers, William Curley is a world-class player. He’s one of only 7 chefs in the UK to have achieved ‘Master of Culinary Arts’.  The chance to earn this accolade – which is the culinary equivalent of a Nobel Prize – only comes round every 4 years…and it took William three attempts.  Gruelling, as you’ll hear…

Perhaps it’s not surprising that William has done so brilliantly. As well as having natural talent, he’s fostered that talent by working with the best, from the moment he became an apprentice at Gleneagles, followed by stints with acclaimed chefs such as Pierre  Koffmann, Anton Edelmann, Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White.

You might think that working with big personalities and big brands (Harrods, Claridges, The Savoy …I could go on) would have gone to his head.  Not a bit of it.  As you’ll hear, William is delightful, down-to-earth and humbled by the fact he was able to crowd-fund his latest venture: his own shop in the heart of Soho. This means he can continue to be hands-on, creating amazing chocolates and chocolate patisserie.  Be warned, your mouth will water during the course of this conversation…  Enjoy.

 

:)