Determined entrepreneur cooks up winning recipe for success with new venture.
A Yorkshire-based entrepreneur whose business was impacted by Coronavirus and lockdown has bounced back with an innovative new venture borne of his own passion for cooking and quality ingredients.
With the launch of My Chef Skills, Jonny Ross, who has successfully run a live music and artist booking service for the past 10 years, has served up an online cookery portal designed to develop and improve cooking skills, helping budding chefs to attempt dishes made famous by Michelin starred chefs including Nathan Outlaw.
The new venture is the brainchild of the 33-year-old Harrogate-based entrepreneur. As the boss of a successful live music event business, he suddenly faced an uncertain future due to the pandemic. Already a keen and accomplished home cook, Jonny always harboured dreams of creating a business based on his passion for food and desire to constantly improve his own skills.
Like thousands of events-based businesses, the music business Jonny runs, Jonny Ross Music, experienced a nosedive in demand in 2020 when almost 1500 confirmed event bookings were reduced to just eight as the pandemic impacted. Temporarily shelving that business and determined not to let lockdown get the better of him, Jonny channelled all his efforts into making My Chef Skills happen.
After successfully convincing some of the country’s most exciting chefs to come on board and showcase a number of their own treasured recipes for the public, the idea was brought to life. Nine months on, with a comprehensive bank of content, professionally filmed and edited and an impressive roster of chefs fully committed, My Chef Skills is finally fully cooked.
Jonny commented: “2020 forced me to re-evaluate everything and to not take anything for granted. For years I wanted to develop my own chef-based cookery course as I’ve always had a personal interest in ambitious amateur cooking at home. With what was going on around us, combined with the growth in online video content and the desire to acquire new food-related skills, I seized the opportunity to bring my initial idea to life. It was obvious people were keen to learn to cook, bake or develop new talents during lockdown and thankfully, many are building on these new found skills as life gradually returns to normal.
“The fundamental idea was to encourage the chefs to lift the lid on what they do and fuel the growing passion for great food and ingredients that so many people discovered, particularly during lockdown. I wanted to get under the skin of how to understand ingredients and get the best out of them, resulting in the most outstanding dishes, which many people at home wrongly think they are not capable of dishing up. By enlisting such a varied team of talented chefs, we’re able to cover off the whole skill set, not only teaching how to be a technically proficient cook but what to look out for when sourcing ingredients and making sure that the ingredients are treated with respect.”
My Chef Skills offers a series of easily accessed online video tutorials that teach professional cookery techniques and share industry secrets from over 20 outstanding chefs fronted by a host of high profile chefs such as double-Michelin starred Nathan Outlaw, The Great British Menu’s Andrew Sheridan and Masterchef, the Professionals finalists, Matt Healy (2016) and Philli Armitage-Mattin (2020).
With over 80 different classes already filmed and available on-demand, lessons range from knife skills to cooking restaurant-quality posh fish and chips or a selection of dishes selected by Nathan Outlaw, who runs his self-titled two Michelin star restaurant, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, in Port Isaac, Cornwall. A wide menu of recipes and techniques are also available for people to attempt, all presented in real-time from a mix of Britain’s most exciting chefs.
Celebrated double Michelin starred chef Nathan Outlaw, who has contributed 11 episodes to My Chef Skills including making the perfect bisque sauce and how to cook fish to a Michelin standard, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn and develop chef skills from some of the best names in contemporary cooking. My aim is to showcase British seafood that I would love for everyone to cook at home, giving them the confidence and courage to turn my chef skills into their own chef skills.”
And Yorkshire-based restaurant owner and MasterChef the Professionals finalist in 2016 Matt Healy, who also presents nine cooking lessons on My Chef Skills, said: “These recipes really are for anyone. Dishes like my beef wellington might sound impossible when you look at all the ingredients and steps, but if you follow along with the videos step by step, you’ll be properly impressed by what you can cook. It’s like having me and the other chefs in your back pocket, so you can be confident in the kitchen and cook like a chef at home.
“The thing that excites me most about My Chef Skills is how much I can see it building people’s confidence in the kitchen. Whether you’re a confident home cook or a complete amateur, you’ll be impressing family and friends in no time. Maybe even the next Masterchef….”
New chefs will be added to the on-demand video roster over the coming months with an increasing number of recipes to try new techniques to learn across a broad range of cooking styles from classic dishes and plant-based to world cuisine. Seasonal dishes will also be added. It is also planned to incorporate International chefs and dishes suited to overseas audiences giving the site a truly global appeal.
Added Jonny: “This is a business which emerged from my own personal passion for cooking. I’m looking forward to seeing people cooking along with some of their favourite chefs and unlocking skills and knowledge that can be potentially life-changing. Through this, we are hoping to empower people to cook like a professional.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Terry Gilligan .