ABOUT ALEX MACKAY
“Alex Mackay is, first and foremost, a brilliant chef. Yet at the same time he is much more than that. He has a rare and special gift which goes beyond simply creating beautiful dishes. That gift is the ability to teach, inspire and enthuse others who want to learn how to cook.” DELIA SMITH
Alex Mackay; A cook, a teacher, a writer, a father and a food lover
Cooking is everlasting, ever changing, magical fun. I cook all the time, often three times a day. I cook for work, I cook to relax, I grow things that I want to cook and I read about how best to cook them. I love to talk and write about it. My second book 'Alex Mackay's Cookbook for Everybody Everyday' is out now.
My current career began over fifteen years ago when Raymond Blanc called me in Bermuda to ask me to come back to Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and run his Cookery School. That was the day I started to become less of a chef and more of a cook.
These days I'm learning to be a father as I write, appear on television, demostrate and spend as much time as I can with the wonderful Kids' Cookery School. I am the Merchant Gourmet Cook – click the link for recipe videos and ask me cooking questions via the Ask Alex page.
I won The Guild of Food Writers Cookery Journalist of the Year and have been runner-up twice. My first book 'Cooking in Provence' won the Gourmand World Cookbook award for 'Best Book on French Cuisine in English' and was in a short list of 3 for 'Best First Book' at the Guild of Food Writers Awards.
I was a regular on Ready Steady Cook on BBC 2 and I have featured on This Morning and Too Many Cooks on ITV. I was a regular for five years on UKTV’s Great Food Live and made three thirteen-part series for Carlton Food Network.
I ran cookery workshops at Norwich City Football Club with Delia Smith for a decade until her retirement.
I started working in restaurants completely by chance after being asked to leave school in New Zealand at the age of fifteen. I washed dishes for a year before starting an apprenticeship and as soon as I finished I bought a one way ticket to France. I spent nearly three years working in the kitchens of two-starred Michelin restaurants in Burgundy, Tours and Courchevel. After this I went to work for my great friend and mentor Raymond Blanc. I was was promoted to Sous Chef after 6 months. I left a year later to get a little rest in Bermuda where at the age of 23, I was runner up in Bermuda’s Chef of the Year Awards. It was then that RB called to ask me to come back to Le Manoir as Director of L’École de Cuisine and Head of Development for Blanc Restaurants Ltd, in charge of all its publishing and consultancy activities.
This time I spent three years at Le Manoir working on projects as varied as Raymond Blanc’s books and food for Virgin airlines. I then opened my own school, Le Baou d’Infer, in Provence. It was soon placed in the world top ten by the Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveler as well as one of the Worlds Finest by House and Garden Travel. The cookery school is now finished after fulfilling its five year plan and, after the first year, always being fully booked.
My projects these days are ever more varied, but food, and people that want to learn about it are always at the centre.
I live in Oxford with my wife Jess and sons Jake and James.
“I have watched Alex grow with great pride from a fine chef into a fine teacher and listened with pleasure to the many guests who have enjoyed his free style of teaching and learnt so much in their time with us. The sadness I feel as he leaves is overwhelmed by the joy of seeing a pupil become a master.” RAYMOND BLANC