Hayden Groves speaks to The Staff Canteen about his new recipe book to celebrate his 10,403km charity cycle ride - in association with BRITA Professional

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th August 2017

Hayden Groves’ 20-year career in gastronomy has brought accolades in their droves. 

2006 saw him named the Craft Guild of Chef’s Contract Catering Chef of the Year, before he stepped up to win National Chef of the Year in 2013. And as a Parade Des Chefs four-time gold medallist, Hayden’s a chef who never stands still.

Churros, bitter chocolate sauce (Spain). Photography by Adrian Franklins

Churros,

bitter chocolate sauce (Spain)

Photo by Adrian Franklins

And that goes for his life outside the kitchen too. His second passion in life, outside food, is cycling. He’s on his bike every chance he gets. And proving that he does nothing by halves, in 2015 Hayden saddled up for the world famous Tour de France, raising £1.4 million for the charity Cure Leukaemia.

This year, Hayden’s taking the challenge a step further. Taking a sabbatical from his role as executive chef at BaxterStorey, he’s preparing for an epic 10,403km ride across Europe, to tackle the triple tour – that is, the three grand cycling tours of Europe, the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. Only 39 professionals have ever completed the triple tour, but Hayden is ready to take it on.

Catching him on a rare break, The Staff Canteen chatted with Hayden about his career, recipe book and how water filtration transforms water quality in the kitchen.

Hayden’s love for food started at home. He says, “I had a real love for food, my mum was a great cook and food was important to us as a family. And we’d go on holidays in Europe, where suddenly all these new tastes and flavours were all around me. Now I have a family of my own, that’s really stayed with me. Where possible we sit down as a family and we eat around the dinner table and I think that’s where the love begins.”

Describing himself as “far from academic” during his school years, Hayden followed his passion for food. A road that took him right to the top of his profession, as the National Chef of the Year in 2013.

Hayden Groves
Hayden Groves

Hayden explains, “I’ve certainly come a long way since school. It really is a career that rewards hard work and that’s one thing I wasn’t shy of. I’m a true believer in the harder you work, the luckier you become. And now, here I am, talking to you guys.”

Hayden’s career led to a stint as executive chef at Lloyd’s of London, and his current executive role at BaxterStorey. Now a leading figure of the industry, Hayden knows how good water filtration leads to spectacular results in the kitchen.

When it comes to BRITA Professional, Hayden says: “They’re a market leader and a name that you trust at home or professionally. You can see kitchens that don’t have water filtration – their combi ovens have a thick, noticeable line of scale that builds up and harbours bacteria.”

BRITA Professional water filters are definitely Hayden’s preferred choice when it comes to the combi ovens at BaxterStorey. And they’ve had an unmistakeable effect on the quality of his steamed ingredients and the longevity of his equipment. He says, “The filters mean we don’t see scale and calcification build up. That’s really reassuring, because once you start getting scale in a combi it’s very difficult to shift.”

According to research BRITA Professional carried out with Craft Guild of Chefs last year, 68% of chefs aren’t aware of the impact of not having water filters on their combi ovens. Hayden said: “I can’t believe how high that number is! I’ve used BRITA Professional products for over a decade, and the results are incredible. Especially when you consider how cost effective they are for the peace of mind they give you, and how easy they are to replace. When we need to, we just get a new one.”

Beef bourguignon (France). Photography by Adrian Franklins

Beef bourguignon (France).

Photo by Adrian Franklins

Hayden’s taking a break from the kitchen, with full blessing from BaxterStorey, to embark on his triple tour of Europe on two wheels. And, true to form, he’ll have more than cycling on his mind. He’ll follow up his adventure with a new cook book featuring recipes inspired by the culinary heritage of the towns he visits en route, and stories from the tour. On sale later this year, the book, published by Face Publications and featuring images by food photographer, Adrian Franklin will go to Cure Leukaemia (supported by BaxterStorey).

He says, “I really wanted to write a book that fuses the stunning scenery of France, Italy and Spain, that anyone who watches the tours will appreciate, with the cooking traditions of those nations. The journey will be told in food, from Sardinia’s seafood fregola, to a French tartiflette, and everything in between.

“I’m really excited about our Ratatouille movie inspired ratatouille, bringing together the classic Thomas Keller method and the style of Remy the rat from the movie!”

And Hayden’s favourite from the book? He’s keeping that to himself, “That’s like picking your favourite child! But there are a couple that spring to mind. You’ll have to judge for yourself.”

Find out more about BRITA Professional and the perfect water filtration solution by visiting the BRITA website here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th August 2017

Hayden Groves speaks to The Staff Canteen about his new recipe book to celebrate his 10,403km charity cycle ride - in association with BRITA Professional