Background and heritage
I was born in Jamaica and moved to the UK with my family when I was just a child, as part of the Windrush generation. It was a strange time in a foreign land and my only reminder of home was the delicious Jamaican food that my mother cooked. I grew up in inner-city Birmingham living in complete poverty. As the eldest boy of nine children, it was my job to help my dad on our allotment, where he grew vegetables to supplement food for the family. It was here, away from our crowded two-up, two-down, I first dreamt of owning a farm in the great British countryside – an ambition that became a focus of everything I did.
Career and Achievements
A troublemaker at school due to my undiagnosed dyslexia, I left without any qualifications. But I didn’t let that stand in my way. After a brief and unsuccessful stint in the Parachute Regiment (I have a Dishonourable Discharge to my name) I trained as a chef and spent some time flipping burgers. But I had bigger ambitions. Unqualified but persistent, I talked my way into television, eventually becoming a producer/director for the BBC. I travelled the world making films about food and drink with the BBC Food & Drink programme and am credited with bringing many of the top celebrity chefs to the small screen including Gordon Ramsay, Antony Worrall-Thompson, Brian Turner and James Martin, before founding a food and drink marketing company in London.
Years later, when I was 40, I finally realised my dream of owning a farm in Devon, and it was here my neighbours coined the name ‘The Black Farmer.’ This inspired me to launch my own brand under the The Black Farmer name offering premium quality, affordable British products with outstanding flavour. As the first Black Farmer in the UK I am passionate about British farming, and I work tirelessly to infuse diversity into the industry. In recognition of my contributions to British farming, I have been honoured with an MBE.