John has had a passion for cooking from an early age. This passion came to fruition when he left school and arrived at Hugh Baird College, Liverpool. Under the guidance of his tutor, Kevin Kirby, he flourished, completing a 4 year course a year early.
John moved from Liverpool to the then Michelin Starred, Star Inn, Harome. Working under Chef Patron, Andrew Pern, and Head Chef, James Mackenzie (now, Chef Patron at the, Michelin starred, Pipe and Glass). This was a fantastic learning curve for John, and one he looks back on with great memories. "The Star was a great experience at such an early age, working in one of the countries top gastro-pubs gave me invalubale experience and drive, which was passed down from James and Andrew who were always around."
John moved on to the General Tarleton, Ferrensby working under Chef Patron, John Topham and Head Chef, Robert Ramsden. John progressed through the ranks developing his flair, personality and love for Yorkshire produce. "Robert is full of knowledge and passion, he is really infectious. Robert really developed me as a person and a chef. As he once told me, I came to him as drift wood, and left as polished oak. Robert is a life long friend, and someone I can always turn to for help."
Swinton Park, Masham, beckoned John next. Under Executive Chef, Simon Crannage, John would hone his fine dining skills and develop a passion for being centre stage, becoming a regular at North Yorkshire's top food festivals. " Simon really did a lot for me, pushed me really hard in the kitchen to always keep learning and progressing. He really took me under his wing and kept me going in the right direction. He was always keen to push me forward for demos."
It was at Swinton Park where John and Rosemary first crossed paths.
In the Spring of 2011 John took the opportunity to move to St Tropez, to become a private chef. "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that came out of the blue, and I grabbed it with both hands. It was one of the best and most important things I've done; to be able to immerse yourself in French food and culture was unforgettable."
On returning to the UK John spent time with the award winning Phil Fanning, at Paris House, Woburn. "Phil is fantastic to work with, welcoming, patient and a truly talented chef. He really does lead by example."
John then teamed up with Rosemary Shrager at the Swinton Park Cookery School, becoming her Head Chef. It was here the pair instantly hit it off.
"In a way, Rosemary and I are chalk and cheese; a real odd pairing but it really works! When Rosemary asked me to come with her to Tunbridge Wells I jumped at the chance. I feel very privileged to be working so closely with Rosemary, who is amazing. She's a joy to work with, and such a giving person. I'm hugely excited to be part of this fantastic project."