I started kitchen work at just 14 and I loved it so much I never really went to school again.
I worked my way up through the hierarchy at various 4 and 5 star hotels and Michelin star kitchens before, at 28, taking on my first head chef position and later executive chef role.
From 1999, I spent 10 years working in pubs, winning Michelin Bib Gourmands and AA Rosettes.
But my anti-authority ways meant I was always going to work for myself. And, in quick succession, I had two pubs where, through naivety and ignorance, I paid a high financial price.
Then I took on the Crown in Burchetts Green, Berkshire, in 2013, where the following year, after much struggle, I received a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
In time my eldest son Dean gave up his highly promising career at the Waterside Inn, in Bray, Berkshire, to take charge of the front of house. With his ideas, we made changes, created a smaller menu and, in 2016, won a Michelin star.
Working with your family brings about a different kind of mentality. Failure is no option. So, 35 years after starting out, I am still cooking for my culinary life.