A competition chef born and bred, James’s kitchen life started early, working weekends at Cambridge Regional College. It was here that his career began to blossom. Following two years of study for an NVQ Level 2 in Catering and Hospitality, James progressed to a Chef de Partie role at Girton College where he spent 12 years working his way up to Head Chef.
Stages at Michelin starred Alimentum and Midsummer House – under the watchful eyes of Mark Poynton and Daniel Clifford, respectively – helped him finesse his kitchen skills. These would prove invaluable in his role as captain of the Cambridge College Culinary Team and then as a member of the English National Culinary Team, where he was awarded a Silver medal in prestigious ‘Battle of the Dragon’ competition.
He joined the Essential Cuisine brigade in Autumn 2018, noting that in his first couple of weeks he was already made to feel like part of the family.
With 25 years’ experience as a chef, his skills in the kitchen combined with his unparalleled understanding of the university sector make him another fantastic addition to the brigade.
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You.
Longest shift pulled?
Probably about 36 hours. When I was with the England team, I did 48 hours straight because you had to prepare the cold platters and we just kept going all night.
If I wasn’t a chef, I would be…
A professional golfer
What is your favourite ingredient and why?
Salt. It’s such a flavour enhancer.
Definitely Indian. Closely followed by Italian.
What is it about the industry that you love the most?
The diversity. No two days are ever the same.