New Zealand born Alex Mackay is a cook who loves
food and the people who want to learn about it. Ten
years ago he turned to teaching when a request from
Raymond Blanc took him back to Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons
to become director of Le Manoir Cookery School and set
up a publishing and consultancy department.
In 1999 he opened his own school, Le Baou dInfer,
in Provence. It was soon placed in the world top ten
by the Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveller as well
as being voted one of the Worlds Finest by House and
Garden Travel. The cookery school is now finished after
fulfilling its five year plan and always being fully
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Whom do you most admire for their achievements?
Who is your favourite chef?
A: Raymond Blanc .
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
A: All of my family at the same time!
What would be your desert island disk?
A: Pavarotti's Greatest Hits.
What is your favourite British food?
A: Steak and Kidney Pudding.
What is your favourite Italian food?
A: Hot (from the sun) figs in Don Alfonso's garden
over looking Capri.
What is your favourite French food?
What is your favourite World food?
A: Food that is out of this world.
What do you like most about your job?
A: Seeing or hearing from people who have cooked
my recipes and enjoyed the process and results.
How would you describe eating in the UK to someone who's
never visited it?
A: The English relationship to food is measured
Do you think food in the UK has changed for the better
since the days of Duck with Orange and huge helpings
of Black Forest Gateau?
What's the best thing about eating in the UK?
A: A good restaurant!
And the worst?
A: A bad restaurant!
At what sort of place do you regularly go to eat?
A: Mostly my dining room, sometimes my living room
and very rarely outside.
Would you like to live and work somewhere other than
the UK and if so where and why?
A: Provence . . . ingredients, priorities and the
What's your favourite food?
A: Good food .
When did you first get involved in cooking?
A: When I was asked to leave school at 15.
What sort of people have you cooked for during your
career. Most memorable or most forgettable?
A: The most memorable are the kids at the kid's
cookery school www.thekidscookeryschool.co.uk.
I've forgotten the forgettable ones.
Do you ever have regrets that you chose to become a
What do you think you would have been if you had not
become a chef?
A: I'd have been lost.
What would be your advice to someone who is thinking
of training to be a chef?
A: Work like you don't need the money. Eat and read
and cook and eat and read and cook and eat and read
The career of one famous chef only came about because
his professional football career came to an early close
through injury, and one chef's plans to open a restaurant
never happened when he became football manager of Aberdeen
and later Manchester United. Has fate ever played a
part in your career?
A: Yes, a job learning to make wine in Burgundy
fell through and through a chain of events I ended up
at Le Manoir which then after a time led to me changing
from cooking to teaching and writing.
What are your hobbies, spare time interests, what do
you do to relax?
A: I read about food, grow food, talk about food
and I cook and I eat.
find out more about Alex
Email Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org