About Me

Me, photographed in August 2007Hi. I'm Aidan Brooks, aka. "Trig", a 22-year-old professional chef from Hackney in the East End of London, England. I spent the past two and a half years in Spain, training with some of the country's top chefs. In 2007-8 I was a chef de partie in Carles Abellan's Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurant Comerç 24. In Spring 2009 I took a two-month stage at Martín Berasategui's now 2* Lasarte and then joined the kitchen team of Paco Morales - Spain's Chef of the Year - at Hotel Ferrero in València, where I was appointed Pastry Chef. This Spring I've returned to the East End to run a kitchen section for Nuno Mendes at his exciting new venture, Viajante.

I've had a love of food and been cooking and enjoying eating it for as long as I can remember, but when I was about eight years old I first got it into my head that I'd like to cook for a living. In 2003, aged 15, I registered at Waltham Forest College to take part in their Junior Chefs' Academy. Every Saturday morning I got up early and made the bus journey across East London to attend the college. By the time I graduated in Spring 2004 I knew that there was only one future for me - becoming a professional chef.

My parents were not exactly enthused at first. Both my mum and dad are university graduates and my older brother Joel was at uni studying for his B.Sc. in Business Economics when I announced my intentions. So it wasn't easy for mum and dad, but they told me that if I was going to pursue a career as a chef there would be two conditions. The first condition my parents set was that I should obtain GCSE results good enough for 'A' levels and university admission later if I dropped out. I knew this would never happen, but I worked hard at school and exceeded the 5 Grade A-C results that were needed, passing all 9 of my exam subjects at these higher level grades.

The second condition was that if I was going to become a chef I should aim for the top. "Don't you dare end up working at... [well-known fast-food restaurant]"..., my dad said. He explained to me that the reason why kids brought up in Hackney were often less successful than those elsewhere was not because they lacked ability, but because nobody set high expectations for them, so they ended up setting low expectations for themselves.

I never forgot this lesson. You can't guarantee you'll get to the top, but you sure as hell can give it your best shot. And that's what I've done ever since.

If you want to find out more about me, you can find all sorts of stuff about what I'm currently doing and how I got there, some famous alumni of my catering college, places where I have gained work experience, my Portuguese "extended family" and some places I've been and people I've met during my life as a trainee chef. I've also provided other personal information including my CV and references, the countries I have visited, the restaurants I've eaten in and my favourite kitchen utensils.

If you click here, you'll reach a page that will tell you more about how to navigate around my blog.