Chef Jay Geddes

Mar 16, 2021 | Chef Stories

 Name : Jay Geddes

Age : 36

What is your current role :

Business owner and private chef to the stars and professional athletes

Where are you from? Southampton

Qualifications and Certificates :

NVQ 2 and 3 in hospitality and catering Sports nutritionist diploma

Social Media and Web Links :

  • Jay Geddes
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  • Chef jay geddes
  • Chef jay Geddes



What is your earliest memory of cooking? What did you cook and for who?

It was a cooked breakfast for my mum ( who’d had a bit of a cold ) and I wanted to make her better, I was about 10 years old ( I mean she was there to help! ) but I remember seeing it on a plate and thinking have I cracked the culinary world ?!

Have you always been a chef? Or did have a change of direction in your career?

I was really into my football as a kid, and played for the Southampton youth team . Unfortunately I never made it any further in football, but as a teenager I was obsessed with cooking. I remember watching the TV series “Chef” with Lenny Henry.. and I new from that day that’s what I wanted to do.

If you could cook with ingredients from any country, where would it be and why?

Ahhh such a hard question , but I have to say Asian! One of the key aspects of Thai cuisine is its artful blending of the five major tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot. Most cuisines of the world do not employ the bitter taste, but in Thailand it is a flavor well-loved and appreciated. And I can see why!

 If you could invite any 2 people for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?

Ahhh man! Well I’ve been very lucky to cook for a lot of ‘A’ list celebrities and cool people and they’ve often popped in the kitchen for a brief chat . I mean there’s so many people I’d love to have a real sit down with and break out the good wine and cheese.

Nevermind 2 people! Get me in a room with all the world leaders and let me sort this shenegans out!

There’s nothing that good food and wine can’t fix.

But if I could have David Attenborough and Morgan Freeman by my side that would be great!

What was the last culinary course / qualification you took and what would you choose next?

I’ve been cooking for 17 years. You never stop learning and to me, you’re always a commis! No names on jackets, no big hats, so I’m forever doing new courses and learning because really,  deep down, we’re all and always will be commis chefs.

My last course was a Sports Nutrition Diploma, and am spending more time working on even more nutritional qualifications.

What is the most funny/ frustrating thing that has happened to you whilst cooking for someone?

When I was in my early twenties I asked the commis chef to drain the stock. He came back with all the bones and peelings. ( he threw the stock away!) I can laugh about it now!

How much of your cooking is “finger tips” and instinct rather than following the recipe?

Yeah, I mean as a chef you don’t need recipes (not really). However if you’re trying to create consistency it’s important to have recipes for the rest of the team. Chefs like to do everything themselves because they don’t trust the younger chefs, but my motto has always been “don’t belittle …….. educate”.

All of my chefs have mastered the recipes over time. Again it’s that word …. CONSISTENCY! If that’s what you want, then recipes are what you need.

What does your typical day with a client involve?

Creating bespoke menus, calorie and macro counting, planning, cooking

How do you spend your time off? What do you enjoy doing?

I love my football… born in Southampton so am a huge fan of the club. I’m lucky to have some of the athletes as clients. I love walks in the forest, weekend breaks away (see much of the world as you can ) and understanding how others live. I like a bit of golf but it’s more stressful than cooking!

What advice would you give to a young person entering the industry today?

Most chefs will tell you don’t do it, but that’s nonsense. What I will say is don’t be hard on yourself. Listen, take notes, come in to work sometimes on a day off and spend some time with a chef on a different section. The more you learn, the bigger the opportunities you’ll be presented with later on in life.

What inspired you choose the food and drink / chef industry?

Self defence from my mum’s cooking! I’m playing!

Again this was all Lenny Henry in ‘Chef’. If you haven’t seen it take a seat and watch.

Do you have a favourite cooking or chef quote to share?

“Don’t belittle …… Educate”.

Chefs are so short tempered and expect perfection, when the chef may not have much experience in that specific dish or technique etc.

So, instead of shouting ….. show them. It’s a tough industry ,so it’s important to laugh a lot. Your kitchen, the staff you work with, end up becoming like a family. Enjoy the Moments, take the good with the bad and always be kind.

We ask questions suggested by the wonderful community of Chefs and Food / Drink Professionals in the High End Chefs private group on Facebook. The purpose and mission behind ‘Chef Stories’  is to inspire and encourage other Chefs and those with a passion for culinary, to continue confidently into the industry as Private Chefs, Yacht Chefs, Chalet Chef, Restaurant Chefs / Chef’s Table, Catering Businesses and Cooking Schools!

The list isn’t exhaustive… but we’re sure you get the picture! 

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