My story so far
I was never one of those children who had to be cajoled into eating, ‘leave that lot to starve’ was my thought, all the more for me. I have had a passionate love affair with my lunch ever since I was able to use my cutlery to prevent raiding siblings from pillaging my vittles, be they feast or slop. To this day I’ll nail a marauding hand to the table with my fork if I think I’m in danger of being violated in the victual department. I love food; devising menus, seeking out fabulous ingredients, preparing, serving, eating – most of all eating, being fed, basking in the compliments and relaxing in the knowledge that some other less fortunate mortal is clearing up the chaos and mayhem left in my gifted wake.
Bruno’s Italian Restaurant and The Go Sun Chinese restaurant in Dumfries, where I attended boarding school, had a big impact on my teenage diet. I must add that whilst under the martial control of the Marist Brothers I developed a liking for Heinz ravioli eaten cold directly out of the can; I still do this late at night. A few years on, the cheese soufflé prepared by the French mother of a friend rocked my world. The food served in the Classic Café in Glasgow’s Alison Street by the Del Duca family and the Chinese curry in the Jasmin House operated by Sammy Chung, he had 2 wives, became my mainstays. I married a woman who couldn't boil an egg but her mother was a wonderful cook whilst her father was a seasoned gourmand and to both of them I owe a huge amount of gratitude. They brought out and encouraged my talent in front of a stove. I divorced, I couldn't eat more raw chicken.
I had a delicatessen in Glasgow's West End during the late 80’s; I was so ahead of my time, even today when I visit most delis I think back to just how good my little store was. I remember shopping in Fazzi Brothers on Clyde Street and Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh, both magical emporiums of deliciousness. The Sarti family, Fazzi next generation, still operate in Glasgow as do the Continis, V&C, on the East Coast.
I have eaten in many of the world’s finest and some of its most dire dining rooms. I have been at the table of great chefs like Roger Vergé, Nobu, Marco Pierre White and The Roux Brothers as well as the kitchens of dear and talented friends who have produced astoundingly wonderful offerings. I’ve been presented with food so awful whilst in settings so grand I wanted to push the chef’s head into their hot oil pan.
I was a location caterer in the Film and Television industries for about 25 years; I met and fed a galaxy of stars including many of my heroes. A very intriguing period which has left me with many special and unique memories. I’m sure to delve into some of these once I get up and running, although what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Jennifer Aniston did kiss my cheek, Cameron Diaz said I was awesome, Jon Bon Jovi said about a sugo served over his pasta “that's a rockin’ red pepper sauce”, Mick Jagger gave me a handwritten thank you note and a bottle of fizz and Ken Stott entrusted me with his mother’s recipe for Caponata.
Time for a change. Along came Guy’s in the Merchant City area of Glasgow serving real food to the worthy citizens of this dear city. After which followed The Wee Guy’s, with its all day breakfasts, sensational salads, perfect pies and sandwiches. Whilst I no longer cook in either shop on a daily basis I am in and around tasting, advising, demonstrating and helping devise new dishes to the great teams running them as well as chatting to customers old and new.
Forever needing a challenge and stimulation it’s time to take a new direction; sharing opinions, knowledge, humour, respect and total lack of it where applicable on this blog. Restaurant reviews, recipes, ingredients and where to source them, cookery demonstrations, kitchen tips, advice about equipment, interviews with some very charismatic characters about their food stories and me!!! I will visit restaurants from my past, my travels and my life. Hopefully I will get this right and guyforallseasons.com will encourage, enlighten, engage and maybe even enrage. My opinions may be controversial at times but always honest. “Life is too short to peel a mushroom” someone most wise once said and I agree. I look forward to your company, Buon Appetitto, Guy