HE has cooked for celebrities like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kings of Leon – not to mention our own royal family.
But they are just a few of the names that Jay Geddes can list from his impressive portfolio of satisfied clients.
“I really enjoyed cooking for Beyoncé. She had steamed fish and saffron potatoes,” he recalls.
“And it was lovely when she came into the kitchen at the end of the meal and thanked us. That means a lot. I really appreciate it when people go out of their way to do that.
“But the most enjoyable booking I had was probably former Saint’s legend and England footballer, Rickie Lambert. He and his wife, Amy, were so laid back and welcoming, and their kitchen was stunning.
“Not that that matters to me. I can cook in any kitchen, and I will find a way to work in even the smallest of rooms.”
Jay, 30, from Southampton, is energetic, dedicated, hard-working, and passionate.
Passionate about food. Passionate about cooking. And passionate about what he does.
“I love cooking and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Jay, who has recently started out on his own after many years of working as a private chef, and restaurants and hotels around the country.
“I’ve done big banquets, cooking for 200- 300 people and that was great.
“But I really love the personal experience.
It’s so nice being able to spend time in a client’s house and I take it personally when people invite me into their homes to cook for them. I always make sure I leave it the same way I found it – clean, tidy and like I’ve never been there!
“I even bring the cutlery and plates.”
And now Jay, an advocate of local produce, is eager to make his services available to anyone who wants a fivestar dining experience in their own home, or maybe something a little different.
“People can book me for one night, one month or on a more permanent basis,”
he explains. “I’ll try my hand at anything once. I’m open to offers and I’ll listen to any idea.
“If someone wants to pay me to fly out and join them on their yacht and I’ll cook for them while they are sailing around the world – that’s fine with me. I’ve cooked on a stationary boat before, but not one that’s sailing. I’ll give it a go though.
“There are no limits to what I will do.
“I’ll barbecue in the garden, cook a meal, or do all the prep work and then people can do the cooking themselves. I haven’t found anything I’ve said no to yet.
“I see every event as a fresh challenge, whether it’s a meal for two or a party for ten where half of the guests have specialist dietary requirements. After all, why should someone miss out on a nice meal because they need it to be gluten free or they are allergic to dairy?”
As Jay’s ‘slow food revolution’ begins to grow roots, and people warm to the idea of restaurant quality food at home – both his reputation, and his bookings, are increasing: “I’m delighted by the response I’ve had since launching my service. For me, it’s about getting to know people and the food they like to eat, and what better way to do that than to be invited into their homes to cook for them?
But the chef doesn’t limit himself to cooking, he offers home-made meal deliveries, one-to-one cookery lessons, a consultancy service to restaurants that are just opening or having a few problems, and he is writing a book.
“I just want to share my love of all things food,” he says.
“Chefs have to have passion. And they have to work hard. So they need to love what they are doing. I really do love what I do.
“And I want everyone to love it as much as I do.”
For information go to jaygeddes.com