“Do not take life to seriously, it doesn’t take you seriously at all”.
I was lucky enough to have been brought up by two people that understood the advantages of growing their own food, sourcing their produce intelligently and strictly boycotting processed foods and refined sugars. As a kid this was a nightmare for me, my peers would regularly gorge on what I now consider to be the single greatest threat to our species – heavily refined and heavily process foodstuffs. Of course back then I had the ways and means to circumvent my parents’ strict adherence to these rules…typically shop-lifting* so… I would regularly flaunt these rules and end up face down in my own self-loathing….. the learning here? Processed food and refined sugars aren’t good for you physically or emotionally….stay the fuck away from them.
So, what I cook and how I cook is solidly rooted in one simply core principal – nothing I eat is processed……..this is also supported by one guiding concept…when the belly is full….put the fucking fork down. So what you will find in the pages of this blog in terms of recipes is underpinned by ‘balance’ not ‘health’, not ‘speed’, not ‘efficiency’, not ‘diet fad’……these are all ‘angles’ geared towards selling books.
Food is ‘life-fuel’, like music is, like sport is, like literature is, like anything you do to anchor yourself is. As a human being you are the sum total of constituent parts both emotionally and spiritually – therefore it makes absolutely no sense to fuel your mind, body and soul with anything that can and will cause damage…..just don’t do it.
“FOOD IS NOT MY PASSION”
“Food is my passion” – (yawn) this phrases is trotted out by foodsters with monotonous regularity and it’s getting really dull. Food is not my passion, my life doesn’t revolve around the kitchen and cooking, I don’t lie awake and agonise about new dishes or blog posts or panic about youtube and instgram validation (read vanity) nope – food is not my passion….life is…..I do dig instagram and youtube though 🙂
Don’t get me wrong I love food, I love cooking it, I love watching my mates bury their heads in it in my kitchen and I do like blogging about it but it’s just one part of life, and this blog is the window into that. My ability to cook is constantly enhanced and evolved by everything else I get up to…Martial Arts, Longboarding, Travel, Music – I am the sum of these parts and I nurture and develop all of these equally – one riffs to the other – creativity and a lust for life is what I’m about.
“My training ground for food, cooking and learning how to be a killer in the kitchen”
Age 21 I left University in Belfast with a fist full of academic qualifications and not the slightest idea of what to do next. The previous summer I had blagged my way into a newly opened restaurant on the North coast and worked 3 months as a very, very, very junior chef so it seemed ‘sensible’ then that I should now go back and become a professional chef.
I spent 1 year in the Kitchen working and learning and training……and bleeding and drinking and crying and laughing….this blog is a meld of my recipes and my experiences from my time as a professional chef…names have been changed ‘somewhat’ to protect the fucking very guilty………
THE CONSTITUENT PARTS THAT MAKE UP THE BICYCLE THIEF………..
“To Longboard is to Live”
Barreling down a hill at 45kph does something for the soul – especially when you do this on a piece of wood with wheels. Longboarding for me is one of the ultimate expressions of freedom.
This is my cat-nip by the way, something I’ll be injuring myself doing for a very long time. Conventional sports haven’t ever caught my attention – well not in a participatory capacity, I’ll watch the crap outta Barcelona FC and Armagh GAA! And, yeah you could argue the ‘cool’ card….so……please feel free to 🙂
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it”. Bruce Lee
I began Martial arts training in my teens, the reason for which was a Bruce Lee movie..nothing more existential than that. Chinese Kung Fu has been a central theme in my life for 30 odd years (Tai Chi, Bagua and most prominently Wing Chun). And whilst I can kill a man by just thinking about it these days it is more existential and spiritual – I no longer feel the need to employee a five-finger death strike if a tit-head cuts me up at the bar….I just dip his pockets and swipe his bird instead*
“I just go where the guitar takes me…..” Angus Young
I heard Bon Scott screaming from my mates bedroom window and my life changed for ever – Bon wasn’t physically in the room – he’d been dead a couple of years – but his voice sliced me in two..that was good…but what was better was Angus Young’s guitar finishing the job Bon’s voice started. Like millions of other musos I went from frustrated bedroom picker to garage band hero to moderate group acclaim on to the cusp of fame to solo exploration and today my musical aggression finds itself vented through solo production. Two albums live on spotify and a third in the pipe – you can listen below:
“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride” Anthony Bourdain.
My cooking and eating habits are cemented in this quote by Bourdain, I deny myself absolutely nothing BUT what I will do is balance my books. Life is about balance and that needs to trickle all the way down to what you put in your gob. Say yes to 1lb homemade burger with aged Canadian cheddar and a side of fat lard-fried chips….yes, yes, fucking yes…… just make sure it’s countered with something physical and that it’s not your daily go-to breakfast!
The only other principal I have when it comes to food is this – I will eat everything and anything as long as it can be sourced in a quality Butchers, Fishmonger, Green Grocer, Bakery and/or grown in my own garden – processed food will kill you, if you don’t believe me then spend time in Spain, Italy, France or Greece and count how many Findus lean Cuisine boxes you see kicking around?
And finally – the crap you get in a supermarket is just that…crap. If you want the very best quality, the very best experience, the very best information on the fuel you put in your system then find, get to know and use your local producers – butchers, Fish Mongers, Green Grocers and Bakers…….enjoy the ride…..
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THIS THING CALLED LIFE IS…………TEAR IT UP.
*May not be accurate