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Introducing Nomad chef Alastair Pringle

Alistair trained at the Oxford school of hospitality and then went on to work at The Ritz-Carlton Barcelona. He also has experience in fine dining, contract catering and private events. More recently Alistair has set up his own business @furloughandsons specialising in bespoke private cheffing experiences. His food focuses on inspiration from the Mediterranean and Asia. To find out more read below.

Emily Lowe
Emily Lowe
June 5, 2022

Alistair trained at the Oxford school of hospitality and then went on to work at The Ritz-Carlton Barcelona. He also has experience in fine dining, contract catering and private events. More recently Alistair has set up his own business @furloughandsons specialising in bespoke private cheffing experiences. His food focuses on inspiration from the Mediterranean and Asia. To find out more read below.

How did you start to love cooking?

I started to love cooking purely because I have always LOVED to eat. It’s quite simple really but growing up I would find myself eating something and enjoying it so much that I just had to know how it was made, what was in it, and what am I actually tasting! That being said, I always actively avoided working in kitchens because I knew full well what it involved, slogging out long hours thus, I went down the restaurant management route. However, since COVID came along and did its thing, I found myself cooking as means of getting by selling freshly made products in & hampers in then numerous lockdowns. My business soon turned into private cheffing as I found that’s what I enjoyed the most and as a result ended up making a living from it. Now, here we are.

Most interesting kitchen story

Last year I received an enquiry regarding a cooking gig up in Scotland for 1 week for a group of 22 people. A breakfast, lunch and dinner jobby for the week, so I knew it’d be a big challenge being at the beginning of my private chef career and not having done work similar to this. But, I backed myself! Little did I know, as the booking progressed and menu’s got planned that I would be on a very remote island in Scotland cooking for a group of old university friends having a reunion. It just so happened that the family of the host owned the island and there were no shops, one restaurant and a population of about 45 (quite a few sheep though).

With only one chance to order food to the island at the start of the week I had to meticulously plan the menu’s, picnics I would do and all other ingredients to a T, making sure I didn’t miss a thing. I also saw opportunity to utilise the local surroundings  and requested as much fresh seafood from the area as possible. This is where it got exciting for me, upon arrival one of the locals came by and dropped off 50x hand dived scallops from the bay around the corner. These were easily the most delicious, ginormous, sweet and juicy scallops I’ve ever seen, eaten, cooked or shucked. I also got about 10kg of langoustines delivered which really got me going.

The whole week itself was an amazing experience in so many different ways. The island was absolutely stunning, crystal clear waters with white sandy beaches and other beautiful geographical features to match. The house was amazingly grand and the kitchen was massive which meant churning out large numbers was slightly easier to achieve. Finally, the group of people I was with were all so friendly, accommodating and personable which makes a week away ‘in the sticks’ a lot more enjoyable.

How does your upbringing influence your cooking style?

I grew up in the Far East for much of my younger years and having that nomadic lifestyle moving around while growing up exposed me to all sorts of cuisines, tastes and smells. These have definitely influenced my cooking style and also what I like to eat myself. I also did a stint working in Barcelona so Mediterranean small plates, tapas and sharing foods are also favourites of mine.

I cook predominantly off knowledge of how I want the end product/dish to taste, rather than direct recipes (unless I’m baking, that’s science so I tend not to mess around with it…). I think this benefits me greatly as there are very few things which I haven’t tasted over the years. I think not being afraid to try something carries on over into my cooking. I am always trying new dishes, developing my palette further and learning about new flavour profiles. Thus, you’ll find I’m always mixing up the cuisines I cook and I can confidently make great bespoke menu’s for my clients who may have specific culinary demands.

What do you love most about being a chef?

I literally work with food…! it’s pretty great.

If you weren’t a chef, what do you think you would be?

Probably unemployed.

What is a quote you live by?

Live, love, laugh yeah?

Favourite herb

Chives

Smoking Goat

Favourite restaurant in London

Has got to be either Smoking Goat or Roti King. Simple, bustling, loud and banging food. Takes me back to the Far East in a way. Kol is next on my list however.

Favourite herb

Chives

Most interesting chef you’ve met?

Raymond Blanc (I did only say hi to him as he popped hi head into the kitchen, but that counts doesn’t it? I just know he’s really interesting so I’m going with that)

Desert island ingredient

Probably a whole cow.

I think it would go pretty far and keep you going. Could evaporate some sea water and salt cure it, make some biltong if you’re feeling up for it, stew some bits, maybe even fish with some of it and salt cure the fish too to preserve it. I’m purely thinking the long game here. Might be some veggies and a water source already on the island, even if there isn’t, what a last meal that’d be hey! Beef 50+ ways… unbelievable. A cow is definitely what the Bear Grylls islanders are missing in their lives.

Here is a taste of Alistair's menu...

All our Nomads menus are bespoke and can be made to suit you.

Click here to enquire with Alistair now!

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