Category Archives: Me

Taking Stock!

I have a very good friend who has had what can only be described as a truly “crappy year”. Marion has been off work since this March with terrible symptoms of a disease which was only diagnosed in the second half of Summer. The diagnosis finally came in after many months of debilitating pain and it was determined that she had Lyme’s Disease.

The short-term solution was a course of antibiotics to kick the disease into touch, but there is a further 6 months of drugs required; if you go down the route of traditional medicine. The alternative was described to her as a “really strict diet” and I have to agree that it is quite limited. Essentially Marion has to train her body to accept foods in the same way you would when weaning a baby onto solids. Before this process can begin though it is essential to pack meal times with minerals, and these come from stock! Read the rest of this entry


Thinking outside the bun…

Think Outside The Bun Indeed! 🙂

Tante Marie Culinary Academy

My name is Richard Holden (Tante Marie graduate March 2012) and I work for Weber Barbecues as a Chef Instructor Demonstrator. I am based at Weber’s Grill Academy in Oxfordshire, but when I’m not teaching there I am touring the UK and Republic of Ireland with the Weber Experience doing pop-up demonstrations.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to what foods can be cooked on the barbecue and one of the biggest is that you have to have a hot, sunny day. We always cook with the lid on at Weber and this turns the average grill into an outside oven. Anything you roast or bake in a conventional oven can be produced outside on the barbecue. We don’t stand by the oven as our food cooks, so it’s not necessary to stand by the barbecue if it’s raining. Roasting or baking outside produces food that is…

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Profile of a Tante Marie Graduate… part 5

Very nice to be featured in a Graduate profile by Tante Marie Culinary Academy

Tante Marie Culinary Academy

Richard Graduated from Tante Marie just last year and hit the ground running. After graduation he started working at Absolute Taste, the outside catering company, working at the Olympic Park in Stratford in one of the many Olympic Corporate Pavilions. He is currently working for one of the biggest names in BBQ, Weber, which includes teaching at their Grill Academy, and public cookery demonstrations on their touring trailer.

Name: Richard Holden

Job Title: Grill Academy Experience Chef

Year Graduated Tante Marie: 2012

What have you been up to since you left Tante Marie?

Immediately after graduation I moved up to London and started work with Absolute Taste as part of their London 2012 recruitment drive. I spent about a month in their base kitchen at Wandsworth getting to know the ropes with tasting menus for prospective Olympic clients, as well as some of their regular business customers.

Once the Olympics…

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Apple Tarte Frangpiane Recipes

I am very fortunate to have been invited to demonstrate at Weald Park Game & Country Show, Essex this weekend. Find below the recipes for the 2 dishes I will be creating as part of my sets this weekend. If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it, if you are reading having found it some other way then enjoy 🙂

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Obesity – When Will The UK Wake Up From Its Food Induced Coma??

Hitting the news this week was a story about 30% of all two-to-15-years-olds being overweight, while 14-20% are obese. The news item was accompanied by a photo of a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut and had a tone of resignation, rather than outright alarm!

Are we in the eye of a perfect storm that has been 20 years in the making? Why are TV cooking programs full of Chefs making over-fussy food instead of programs that actually show people how to make day-to-day basics that are healthy, nutritious and straight-forward? Why do we have people in their mid-thirties uncomfortable with making the food they eat from scratch? Read the rest of this entry

Thinking outside the bun…

I have been very fortunate to be able to give back to Tante Marie in a number of ways since graduating and the most recent was to write a blog post for their school site. I received a call from Andrew, School Principle, saying that their social media agency wanted to do a Summer blog about the different foods that go well on a BBQ, but to also include some items that may not automatically be top of people’s list. That’s where I came in 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

My Return to Tante Marie

A little over 1 year after graduating from Tante Marie I received a request to return and give a cooking demonstration to the current intake of budding chefs. When Andrew (school Principle) asked me I was naturally very honoured and also a little nervous! I remember having a conversation with him shortly after graduation saying how I thought part of the testing procedure should be for students to give a dem in-front of the group; now my reckoning hour had arrived 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Barbecue Cheat Sheet

A friend of mine recently bought a new barbecue and asked if I’d help him and his wife learn some of the basics for successful cooking. I was happy to help and we shared a very pleasant and enjoyable afternoon playing around with some great produce and cooking up some tasty treats. I showed them how to look after their new purchase and how they can cook anything successfully on their new 3 burner barbecue. Read the rest of this entry

22 Things Happy People Do Differently

This is a great article by Chiara Fucarino and you should check out her blog Life’d

Richard Branson – Opportunity Through Enterprise

This just in from Sir Richard Branson, speaking in Westminster Abbey this afternoon at the Commonwealth Day Observance service. Here is the speech he gave to the many young entrepreneurs and other guests present… Read the rest of this entry