Why I started the Gables Cookery School

To be honest, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked why I started the Gables Cookery School. The subject came up only the other day when I was talking about old times down under with my sister Kathy (my co-writer on Simply 3 – 5).

Mince and spaghetti at age 11

During another long-distance phone call, we both remembered my first attempts at Spaghetti Bolognese, and how proud I was of my first creation at age 11 or thereabouts. It left a little to be desired and should probably have been graced with nothing more than the prosaic title of mince and spaghetti, but it meant the world to me. I’ve never forgotten the thrill I got from telling the family how I’d achieved my masterpiece.

Fate intervened

It must have been around about then that my twin passions for teaching and cooking really started to develop. Later, when I moved back to the UK, I worked in business but never abandoned my passion for all things culinary. Then, as so often happens, fate intervened with a once in a lifetime opportunity to run a hotel with a 50-cover fine dining restaurant. Was I in my element? You bet!

Fulfilment of a long-held ambition

After that, I believe it was inevitable that I’d achieve my dream of combining fine cooking and culinary training. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that you should never let go of your dreams. Fuelled by a passion, it is amazing what you can achieve. I’ve seen it with my students at The Gables and I’ve proved it to myself – first, when I trained as a professional chef, then, some 12 years ago, when I opened the Gables School in the Cotswolds. I did it because it was meant to be, it was the fulfilment of a long-held ambition and I believed I could make a success of it. It’s that simple.

You can do it too

I’m often asked whether anyone can learn to cook. My answer is to look at what I’ve achieved, at the way I’ve progressed, through study, hard work and grasping opportunities, from ‘mince and spaghetti’ to  successfully launching more than a thousand exciting new catering careers. If I can cook at this level, then so can you.

Is that your dream? If so, I know how we can make it come true.

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