Peter Breckon

Chef Peter Breckon

"My love of cooking came from my mum – she was always the one making meals in our house until one day when asked me to cook a simple roast dinner when she was poorly. Well, I went above and beyond the call of duty and wowed them. I then started pushing myself to realise my dream of becoming a chef.

"I started that journey in the North East, going to chefs’ college and working in local restaurants, but realised I wanted to move to London to broaden my skill set and opportunities.

"I worked for Jamie Oliver in the team that opened his flagship restaurant in the financial district of London, but my head chef recognised my ambition, creativity and potential and arranged for me to get experience at Michelin Star restaurants, including Pollen Street Social under Jason Atherton. I was so committed to getting more experience at this level that I even worked on my days off and holidays.

"This gave me the confidence to ask for a trial at Heston Bluementhal’s restaurant, Dinner. I had always admired Heston’s experimental flavour combinations and the scientific base to his menus. It was voted the 5th best restaurant in the world while I was there.

"I then moved to Mark Hix’s renowned Soho restaurant where I learnt about the strengths of British produce and what good quality ingredients can bring to the plate.

"My experiences in the capital have stayed with me as I returned to the North East, working in all of the regions top restaurants.

"It was at Jesmond Dene House where I pushed the boundaries with my creativity, and the natural landscape encouraged me to start foraging for ingredients.

"I am passionate not just about interesting food but about creating experiences with food. I enjoy putting ingredients together that people don’t expect and I really like to challenge preconceived ideas about food and introducing unusual flavour combinations, textures and temperatures.

"This gives me a chance to touch people’s lives and reach people who I wouldn’t normally reach through my food."

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Alex Macpherson

Sommelier Alex Macpherson

"Born and raised in Newcastle, only child Alex was brought up by single parent Stuart Macpherson. Living in an area with little to do for entertainment, Stuart began to teach Alex about the preparation of food. Making dinner an event Alex could participate in kept the young boy entertained and was subconsciously the beginning of Alex’s love and appreciation for the culinary arts.

"It is safe to say that it wasn’t until much later in life that Alex realised his love for the trade. Cookery lessons in school most certainly didn’t get his full attention. However he fed the fire at home creating dishes for his friends and family.

"After leaving school Alex held a string of hospitality jobs, all front of house, and began to hone his service skills. It wasn’t long until he realised his strengths and passion in the trade were not the preparation and cooking of food but the service and hosting of the event.

"Alex then spent time travelling the world. Doing whatever work he could to fund his trip, Alex found himself working in an array of different jobs, mainly farm work and agriculture, giving Alex an inside view of how much hard work, love and passion goes into the rearing of live stock and growing of fresh fruit and vegetables that eventually were destined to end up as a delicious meal.

"Alex did however miss the world of hospitality and started to seek a job in the industry. It was in New Zealand where Alex found this. Working in a high end establishment in Wellington, as a cocktail bartender, was where Alex first realised his interest in alcohol (especially wine) and began to develop his pallet, and was lucky enough to find himself being trained by head bartender Rikki Carter.

"Upon returning to the UK Alex now knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to stay in the hospitality industry but the matching of beverage to food was what interested him most. Again he had a couple of jobs to fund himself through his WSET qualifications and eventually landed a job as a Junior Sommelier at a 4 star hotel with a 3 rosette restaurant. After 2 years of hard work the opportunity arouse to become Head Sommelier. By this point Alex had proven himself to be ready for the job and was ready for the new challenge. Not only was he serving the wine but was sourcing wine from around the world, looking for the more outlandish wines and grape varietals, usually not seen very often in the United Kingdom."

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Alex and Peter
Alex and Peter
Alex and Peter
Alex and Peter