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Made in Great Britain
Aiden Byrne found his vocation at the age of 14. His
cousin Alan Feeney
was a big influence on his life and Alan had taken the
catering route. Aiden’s granddad had been a chef in the Navy so it’s
obviously in the blood.
After two years studying catering at the then Knowsley Central Tertiary
College in Roby, he got a job at London’s Royal Garden Hotel, but he
hated it with a will known to few. “Being locked in the fridges is one
of my memories. I couldn’t handle it and would cry myself to sleep.”
The negative experience at the Royal Garden Hotel sent Aiden back to
his northern roots and saw him trying his hand at Chester’s Grosvenor
Hotel where he stayed for 18 months. “I kept on going in for nothing
and after four weeks they got p***ed off and offered me a job as a
After the Grosvenor Hotel he gained more experience in restaurants in
Wilmslow and Leeds, before finding work at Adlard’s in Norwich. There,
still only 21 years old, he was made head chef and by 22 he became the
youngest chef to win a Michelin star. “I’d never worn a suit in my life
and here I was being asked to a Michelin dinner at the Savoy in a bow
tie! I was in the same room as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and
Raymond Blanc – it was totally overwhelming.”
Aiden found his niche in London at last when, in 2006, he was appointed
head chef of The Grill at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane. He
generously admits that he owes much of his success to his dedicated and
talented team and the amazing facilities.
Made in Great Britain is stylish and impressive. The cover has been
thoughtfully designed and has a young and masculine feel. The
photography, both black and white, and colour, by Sue Atkinson, is
superb. Lovely pictures of the food are contrasted by action shots of
Aiden and staff.
Although both the chef and the dishes are undoubtedly “Made in Great
Britain”, not all the ingredients are home grown. This book is a
reflection of modern British food rather than uniquely British produce.
Having said that, Aiden has presented a showcase for the best that
these islands have to offer. He takes pride in all that is good and so
The recipes sound chefy, having titles that read like descriptions (Sea
Bream with Lemon Sauce, Crayfish and Sage Risotto), but any competent
home cook could tackle these in a domestic kitchen and be assured of
spectacular results. There are lots of dishes that are simple so start
with those and give yourself a bit of confidence. Strawberries with
Whisky Granite is a stunner and imaginative but so easy.
Made in Great Britain is the ideal recipe book for any serious home
cook. It’s well written and inspiring and will hopefully not be the
last from Aiden Byrne.
Made in Great Britain
Author: Aiden Byrne
Published by: New Holland