When I moved up to Langdon Hall, I really had no idea what I was walking into. I was 16 at the time, and I thought I was going to walk in there, get a job in the kitchen and within about 3–4 years, I would be kitchen supervisor like at my previous job, running this place.
And then I meet this crazy guy in a plaid suit. Mister Geoffery Bray-Cotton. He then introduced me to Chef Nigel Didcock. The whole time, they were explaining to me what it meant to become a chef and how it’s probably the last thing I want to do. And that really pissed me off. The more you tell me I don’t want to do something, the more I wanted to do it. So sure enough, they offered me an apprenticeship.
I always say to this day, I learned my passion for food and working with food from Chef Didcock. Those 4 years was when my eyes opened up to what culinary could be all about. It was beyond the food, it was the fact that it brought a team together. I would even say it created a family. A family of people who would NEVER be together. Todd Clarmo who I consider a friend right now, at the time, we couldn’t have been more different. Then there was Alan the pastry chef, and Paul the crazy sous-chef and Jerome who was a comical genius. So you have all these different personalities but it made you realize that you were part of something special. Now everywhere I go I don’t walk into a kitchen and see someone who is miserable because it’s too hot in the kitchen. I see a special experience that only food can create and bring together.
Jason Parsons - Head Chef at Peller Estates