About Great Food


Alex Mackay's "The Alex Factor"

New Zealand born Alex Mackay combines a love of food with an almost as passionate love of teaching and humor. Alex's mission in this series is to bring interesting food to interesting people. On each program he visits a different character(s) and finds out about their lifestyle and prepares a meal to match. He visits them at home, at work, or at play to find out about their lives, interests, and what makes them tick in the kitchen. Alex then cooks an appropriate meal, providing practical culinary solutions for the guest, and the viewer. He even learns a few things along the way.

Fully qualified at 19, Alex left New Zealand and started an adventure, which has taken him far from his native lands. He bought a one-way ticket to France and spent two and a half years learning the language whilst working in the kitchens of two and three star Michelin restaurants in Burgundy, Tours and Courcheval. In a lucky twist of fate, two days after a job learning to make wine in Gevrey Chambertain fell through, he found a position advertised at Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons in England in a French catering newspaper. Owned by Raymond Blanc, the hero of his formative years in New Zealand, this was truly a remarkable piece of luck. He was appointed and, after only six months he was promoted to Sous Chef. He stayed with Raymond Blanc for a year and a half, leaving to join the Four ways Inn in Bermuda as Executive Sous Chef. During his time there he was placed second in Bermuda's Chef of the Year Awards.

After a year in Bermuda, a personal request from Raymond Blanc saw Alex return to the UK where he rejoined to become the Director of L'École de Cuisine at Le Manoir and Head of development for Blanc Restaurants Ltd., for all of its publishing and consulting activities. While at Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons he was responsible for all recipe development and food photography for 'A Blanc Christmas' - published October 1996 and 'Blanc Vite' - a collection of 200 recipes published in November 1998. Alex's own book has now been commissioned for publication.

Alex is now embarking on a solo career, including his own school, television and writing. Last year he opened his Cookery School - Le Baou D'Infer in Provence. This combines his love of the region, its ingredients and sunshine with his love of teaching to offer a unique experience only available in June, July and during the vendage in September.

Alex's love of food, charisma, and easy manner have made him a regular contributor to television. He also filmed another series for Carlton in May 2000 based at his school in Provence. Alex has appeared in numerous television programs including 'Food & Drink' on BBC2, 'Superchefs', 'Classic Dishes' and 'Livetime' amongst others. He has also appeared in and presented Granada's top rated cookery show 'Battle of the Chefs'.


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