Possibly the most distinctive feature of John’s life to date has been the eclecticism of his passions.
The first of these (and apparently the most enduring) was a passion for cooking – this despite the two facts that he was brought up on a strict diet of well-done steak and bubble and squeak and that he first turned to cooking because at least one person in his student household had to be able to do better than macaroni and canned snoek. He now takes the opportunity of thanking the late Jane Grigson for his conversion to the understanding of just how marvellous good ingredients prepared simply can be.
Curiously, John combined his love of cooking with a concurrent passion for mountaineering – where one typically eats little but bad chocolate, biscuits and cheesy macaroni (macaroni again!) Burnt out by 12 years working as a chef in some of the most seminal restaurants of the 1980’s, John turned to practicing law.
Burnt out by 12 years working as a corporate lawyer, John turned to working as a chef, this time in his own restaurant with his life-partner Georgia Shepherd. And so was ‘Solitary’ born in August 2000, a soulful and even historic Blue Mountains cottage with the best views imaginable.
What is the philosophy of ‘Solitary’? Take fine produce, grow as much as you can yourself, treat it simply and with respect. Make it flavourful.