Bray, West Berkshire
A native of Ontario, Canada, Jonny’s interest in science preceded his interest in cooking. In his early twenties, he moved to Montreal to study physics and biology. Whilst finishing his degree, he started two things that would alter the course of his life: cooking at home and volunteering at a “Meals on Wheels” charity, Santropol Roulant. Here, Jonny packed and delivered meals to the population of Montreal who had difficulty accessing food. Most importantly, he also started cooking.
The time Jonny spent at Santropol not only made him realise his innate talent, it made him aware that with cooking, learning is endless. As he puts it, “You can learn something new in the kitchen every single day if you ask enough questions.” He subsequently spent 18 months honing his skills at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hotellerie du Quebec, the largest professional chef training programme in Montreal.
Jonny excelled at culinary school and upon graduation, he was granted a bursary to pay for a three-month stage in Italy. His culinary career began. In Savona, Liguria he worked at the one Michelin starred A-Spurcacciun-a, a fish and seafood restaurant. In the off-season, he would stage at Quintillo in Altare, Liguria. He left Savona to work at Gualtiero Marchesi’s two Michelin starred restaurant in the L’Albereta Resort in Erbusco.
Jonny joined The Fat Duck in 2005 as a chef de partie. It was an ideal fit. Jonny parallels Heston’s curiosity and relentless pursuit of food perfection. The Head Chef states, “The thing that I enjoy most about The Fat Duck is that we are always looking at different ways to do things.”. Jonny was named Head Chef of The Fat Duck in November 2009. Outside of work, Jonny loves to spend time with his family. As a father of three, an older daughter and twins, most of his days off are spoken for. On the rare occasion when he has time, he likes to dine out and experience other chefs’ cooking. These days, the motorcycle that he also loves gets nothing more than a wistful glance.
This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad
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Massimo Bottura with the vegetables for Refettorio in London (photoThe Felix Project)
Hideko Kawa, head pastry-chef at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, offers the audience a tasting of Botrytis cinerea, a dessert that reproduces a grape bunch. The three days in the Auditorium hall ended with the pastry-chefs of 5 restaurants, from France, Italy, United Kingdom and Spain: a total of 14 Michelin stars (photo by Alessandro Castiglioni)