Chef-eye's Blog by Gavin Swonnell

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th March 2012
“Groans of “Oh no... Not ANOTHER new food and Chef blog...” the www. cries… I’ll burst at the cyber- seams if anyone else tries force feeding me grains of fatty food chat, maturing me into a techno piece of rich foie gras…” Well, with all that said and done here I am… They seemed to have found a space for me in a corner of the cyber kitchen, somewhere between the pass and the ba-mix I think I ended up… “It’s all about the food…” is one reason why my blog started – to share my passion for it with others. That and I was also passing the time waiting for my first baby to arrive… At the ripe age of 38 I took a bold move to take a year off and raise my first child, but am still keen to express my food passion while the career sits on the back burner. So what do I want to achieve? This is definitely a great first question to ask yourself if you are thinking of starting a blog. Fame, fortune and book signings sprung to mind with my blue-sky, ambitious thinking but being much more realistic back down on terra firma, I just enjoy sharing my passion for food. Recipe sharing, offering advice on cooking, helping others that want to learn more about food…  I’m a bit of an “Agony Chef” amongst my Non-chef friends and if my blogs and Chefly advice help and people get the results they are after, then for me it feels like job done! So a bit about me… during most of my teens, my food passion consisted basically of fish n chips from my Parent’s business (best in town as voted by class mates…) KFC and lemon and sugar pancakes on Shrove Tuesday… That aside, I grew up being a fussy eater where at family trips out to restaurants I demonstrated the potential to be the world’s most nightmarish food critic complaining about anything and everything! Then at 16 and as a 2nd option to art, I went to catering college. I enjoyed my first taste of independence for the next few years whilst working in average hotel kitchens to fuel my hectic late teens/ early 20’s social life. At 22 I experienced what everyone remembers as their first experience of fine food. For me it was my first fine dining meal in Willows, a 2 AA rosette restaurant in West Sussex and I was gastronomically blown away. My palette was properly woken up and from then, fine dining was what I wanted to be about, where food tasted great and my artistic side could be expressed within the presentation. That meant goodbye to avocado prawns and melon with Parma ham and hello to the delights of fancy menus written in French and luxury ingredients galore. Everything was home made, Chefs were more strict, working hours drastically increased. For a while I never looked back. I went on to work in 2, 3 or 4 rosette establishments for the next 12 years, going on to achieve 3 rosettes in my first Head Chef role before a lifestyle change took me into contract catering in the Hospitality sector. I stayed in that sector for a further 10 years and now at half way point in my career, I have a beautiful family and I’m enjoying a student style “gap year out” to watch my daughter grow up whilst I temporarily hang up my career to mature like a Joselito Gran Reserva Bellota Ham, and hopefully for it not to go mouldy! Thanks for reading my intro if you made it this far without slipping into a coma… I invite you to come and say hi in my blog or encourage you to start your own. It’s fun and there are some very talented bloggers/writers out there with great ideas for food, from the basics to the advanced, there is something for everyone. As for me, I’ll just carry on doing my own thing until the book signings begin… zzzz….. Read more by  Chefeye

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th March 2012

Chef-eye's Blog by Gavin Swonnell