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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 d’Infer, 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 booked.

Today Alex . . . read more

Alex Mackay Q: Whom do you most admire for their achievements?
A: Nelson Mandela.

Q: Who is your favourite chef?
Raymond Blanc .

Q: With whom would you most like to have dinner?
All of my family at the same time!

Q: What would be your desert island disk?
Pavarotti's Greatest Hits.

Q: What is your favourite British food?
Steak and Kidney Pudding.

Q: What is your favourite Italian food?
Hot (from the sun) figs in Don Alfonso's garden over looking Capri.

Q: What is your favourite French food?

Q: What is your favourite World food?
Food that is out of this world.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
Seeing or hearing from people who have cooked my recipes and enjoyed the process and results.

Q: How would you describe eating in the UK to someone who's never visited it?
The English relationship to food is measured in extremes.

Q: 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?

Q: What's the best thing about eating in the UK?
A good restaurant!

Q: And the worst?
A bad restaurant!

Q: At what sort of place do you regularly go to eat?
Mostly my dining room, sometimes my living room and very rarely outside.

Q: Would you like to live and work somewhere other than the UK and if so where and why?
Provence . . . ingredients, priorities and the weather.

Q: What's your favourite food?
Good food .

Q: When did you first get involved in cooking?
When I was asked to leave school at 15.

Q: What sort of people have you cooked for during your career. Most memorable or most forgettable?
The most memorable are the kids at the kid's cookery school www.thekidscookeryschool.co.uk. I've forgotten the forgettable ones.

Q: Do you ever have regrets that you chose to become a chef?

Q: What do you think you would have been if you had not become a chef?
I'd have been lost.

Q: What would be your advice to someone who is thinking of training to be a chef?
Work like you don't need the money. Eat and read and cook and eat and read and cook and eat and read and cook.

Q: 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?
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.

Q: What are your hobbies, spare time interests, what do you do to relax?
I read about food, grow food, talk about food and I cook and I eat.

To find out more about Alex Mackay visit www.alexmackay.com

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com