The kitchen is at the heart of our home and is the place my young family come together to eat, catch up and have fun. This replicates the experiences I was fortunate to have growing up, with memories of both of my parents cooking and baking regularly throughout my childhood. I am passionate about ensuring I give my family the same experiences and also about passing on my love of food, cooking – and especially baking – to others.
After time spent living, teaching and coaching rugby in Cambridge, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and Sheffield (don’t worry I’m not on the run!) my wife Emily and our two children, Monty and Evie have now settled in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. Within ‘gods own county’ lies Tadcaster, a traditional brewing town surrounded by golden fields of wheat and barley.
I’m lucky to have access to so much inspirational produce with easy access to a number of towns and cities with a real foodie culture and a landscape which inspires me to take a simple ingredient like wheat and turn it into something nourishing and delicious. I believe in baking healthy, seasonal food with real provenance and for me, bread is the ultimate sharing food, one which is rarely eaten alone and can satisfy every sense.
My passion for the game of rugby has taken me around the world: to New Zealand to teach and coach rugby at Kings College, Auckland alongside All Black legends like Grant Fox and Frank Bunce. To South Africa to support the Lions rugby team as well as taking a school team out to play against very tough opposition at Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Durban. And then to the beautiful countries of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, again on a school rugby tour which was an unbelievable experience for all concerned. These experiences have allowed me to sample a huge variety of foods and a vast array of cooking techniques and methods.
Two little sayings which I often applied to my teaching and rugby coaching also guide my baking: less is more (it’s amazing what can achieved with quality flour, Yorkshire water and salt) and good things come to those who wait (as time adds flavour in many breads).
I love welcoming friends and family into my kitchen to bake alongside me, sharing my knowledge and experiences of bread, cakes and other sensational bakes. To put it simply: I love baking, discussing recipes and producing generous amounts of food for anyone willing to sample it. From teaching to baking and delivering within my Tadcaster mile, and then back to teaching through bakery classes, it seems my professional life has now become entwined with my passion and hobby. This really is a dream come true.