Small tasks go a long way

Luke Tipping[h]

Luke Tipping lived above many restaurants as a child - his father was a chef and his mother was also in the industry. But it wasn’t until his early twenties that he developed a taste for high-end cooking.

Luke went to an all boy’s school and never learnt to cook when he was young. His father was very busy and didn’t cook with the family at home. However, he never worked on Sundays and Luke remembers enjoying large family Sunday roasts.

His father arranged a work placement in a kitchen for him and Luke proved to be a quick learner. He enrolled at Halesowen catering college to supplement his placement and began making up for lost time. Twenty years later and Luke is now one of the most accomplished chefs in the UK.

As Executive Chef at Simpsons, Luke has established its reputation at the forefront of a thriving Midlands restaurant scene. He is now a professor of culinary arts, having received a professorship from University College Birmingham.

Luke is very much a family man and doesn’t believe that chefs should be working 18 hour days. To him a healthy work/life balance is more important and he always takes time to eat tea with his children before heading off to evening service.

He said “My children love baking mainly due to shows like The Great British Bake Off. Lois who’s 11 is great at making cakes and my son Nathan, who is 13 loves flapjacks.”

“I get them working on small but important tasks at tea time such as helping to lay the table and clear up. They also make the drinks and help with salads which are easy ways to get involved in the kitchen”.

Luke’s children have developed quite wide palates which he’s keen to encourage. “Even though they are young they can appreciate good food. They can recognise a good cut of meat. For some reason Nathan refuses to eat cheese, but otherwise they’re keen to try anything.”

For Christmas this year Luke will cook something traditional for his family. It’s likely to be turkey. For those who may be panicking at the thought of all the preparation, Luke has some calming words “Just treat Christmas dinner like any other day when you’d be making a roast. Don’t experiment too much and relax”.

“I don’t like food that’s designed to shock. My style is very natural, very seasonal and free flowing.”

A great example of this is Luke’s Turkey Schnitzel which is a gourmet take on sandwich and crisps. Children can get involved making the tasty cranberry and caper mayonnaise which perfectly dresses the turkey and ensures the sandwich is not dry. Served with parsnip crisps this dish is highly seasonal, fun and not fussy.

You can find out more about Luke and sample some of his recipes over at our Cooking with Kids section. 

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