On these pages, through the photography of my good friends Terry and Debra Hart, I am excited to have the opportunity to share my culinary ideas with everyone I have had the good fortune to meet during my long career as a Chef. What I emphasize at my cooking school is creativity. So with this book as a guide, I encourage you to experiment by customizing my recipes to get something that you really like, merging my experience and cooking style with your own creativity. Don’t be afraid to combine a recipe of mine with an idea of yours that spontaneously springs from a feeling – olfactory, gustatory or intuitive. Sometimes it will result in failure, but remember… the best inventions are created through trial and error. Buon Appetito!
A descendant of a noble Irish family, I was born and raised in South Africa. After completing my studies, I interned in the Ritz Hotel in Paris, and spent the following years managing hotels and restaurants in South Africa and Britain. I also traveled extensively in Asia and Africa to discover new flavors. In 1984 I moved to France where I worked with the world famous patissier and chocolatier Bernachon and then the renown restaurateur Paul Bocuse. A year later, I moved to Italy and fell in love with Tuscany. I purchased and restored the Castello di Spaltenna in Gaiole. During this period, I became a Master Chef of the Discovery Channel. Having sold Spaltenna, my' Chianti base became the Osteria del Castello at the famous Castello Brolio where I began teaching cooking lessons. In 2006-7 I finally turned my dream project into reality: a cooking school in Tuscany - Chianti Kitchen.