From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a chef. My mother is a phenomenal cook and I learnt about meat, fish and game from her. Even now she won’t let me in her kitchen! I started my catering training in Bournemouth studying 7061 and 7062 Food Skills and got my first job at Forte’s Restaurant on the seafront as a commis chef. The kitchen worked with an old-fashioned brigade system so you moved around doing everything from peeling to washing! It was great training.
After many years working for big corporations I set up my own consultancy business and wrote a book, The Haynes BBQ Manual that is available in over 75 countries. I advise several National companies and regularly write for the media, working continuously on projects for the Craft Guild of Chefs and the Seafish Industry Authority and I am the Ambassador for Crown Verity barbecues and Lions sauces. My favourite item to barbecue is fish, because you can char-grill, steam in foil, wrap in salted vine leaves or cook on wood (planking) – the options are endless! Mackerel and sardines work really well, all you need are fresh herbs, oil and flavours and the end taste is fantastic.
In my spare time, I give more time to my favourite charity The Eleanor Children’s Charitable Trust and have spent time in Targu Jiu, Romania distributing aid to orphanages, schools and hospitals.
Recently I have been awarded the Silver Craftsman award from the Craft Guild of Chefs and I have become a Certified World BBQ Association Judge Trainer.
“I am on a mission to bring the joy of outdoor cooking to the nation and working with children and adults to explore the wonderful possibilities of traditional British food.”
Ben Bartlett is a barbecue champion. As president of the British BBQ Association and first winner of Britain’s Best BBQ’er, Ben represents Britain across the world. A demonstrative al-fresco chef and Master Craftsman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Ben has written the ultimate BBQ book – The BBQ Manual – which is available in 75 countries. His next, Cooking with Wood, is destined to be another chip off the old block. Smokin’!