Nigel’s enthusiasm and passion for food is as strong today as it was when he was a youngster, eager to learn everything he possibly could from his Grandma who was a lecturer at Liverpool catering college. His evening and weekends were spent watching in awe of this amazing lady, who created dishes with wonderful tastes and textures. Nigel soon realised that he too could create amazing food and wanted to follow in his Grandmas footsteps.
Nigel worked hard from a young age to achieve his dream. At the tender age of 11 he worked every weekend and school holidays at the Dalmeny Hotel in St. Anne’s where they had a prestigious restaurant called the C’est La Vie. It was there Nigel witnessed first hand where quality ingredients were sourced, visiting local farmers, actually feeling the lambs in the field knowing when they were at their peek and ready to go to market. These experiences were invaluable and extremely influential to an 11 year old boy. Nigel still has a love for locally sourced ingredients, he rears his own milk feed lambs with his two daughters.
Whilst growing up Nigel’s other passion was badminton. He represented his county of Lancashire and England. But, cooking was always on his mind and at 16 he enrolled at his local catering college. This was the start of his journey into the world of food. While at college Nigel won the regional Taste of Britain competition and came second nationally. He also won Student of the Year in his last year at college. His hard work at college paid off and on finishing he got a job at The Savoy in London. Nigel spent a tough 2 years learning his craft from a team of amazing chefs. His passion for classic dishes was enhanced. Nigel then moved back to his beloved North West and began working for Paul Heathcote, then moving on to work for Paul Ried at the Chester Grosvenor, all the time improving his skills within fine dining.
Concious of not being a one trick pony Nigel then moved to Compass( Leatherby and Christopher) believing that you could still create fine dining on a larger scale. This took him to some fantastic venues including Glynebourne Opera, Royal Ascot and Newmarket Race Course. It was here that he met Albert Roux and worked along side him in the Guineas Restaurant. After 2 years Nigel realised he missed the buzz and adrenaline rush of service in a kitchen. He returned home once again and was appointed executive chef at Churchills Restaurant, where he won Restaurant of the Year. He was also busy filming a weekly slot for Granada Television, Lunchtime Live and Cooking Clinic. At this time Nigel also did Battle of The Chefs with Simon Rimmer and Club Vegetarian with Nina Mishcof. He then was asked to go to London and film UK Food, where James Martin was one of the presenters. For a short time he moved over to Tyne Tees television for a new weekly series called Smithys Challenge. Nigel has had some amazing opportunities throughout his career. He especially treasures his time spent at the Fieldens Arms, working for the Walker family. He developed one of the first Gastro Pubs of its time and reached 6 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide, also winning Newcomer of the Year. With his repertoire growing he launched himself into the consultancy world while still being heavily involved in Restaurants throughout the North West. In this role Nigel saw a demand for a high quality hands on Cookery schools using the best produce the North West has to offer. So, he set up his own cookery school which still flourishes today. Along with the best produce Nigel has the best appliances to work with and this is where his current role as UK Brand Ambassador for Miele began. Nigel is so impressed with the quality and consistence of these appliances, that you can regularly see him perform with his instantly recognisable energy and passion at Mieles Cookery Schools throughout the country and appearances at The Grand Designs and Ideal Homes exhibitions.
The importance of family has been a huge influence in Nigel’s career and with his wife and daughters support is passion for good healthy food has been heightened. Whatever Nigel turns his hand to, quality and consistence are key. You cannot help being inspired and uplifted by Nigel sheer energy and passion for life and his beloved food.