Having raced the tracks of Europe in my early twenties in everything from F3 to Porsches, I headed to the US to break into NASCAR. This was 2008 and thanks to some banks that were Too Big To Fail, my sponsorship evaporated. Deciding to make the most out of my visa, I toured the Deep South and tried everything the Southern States' kitchens have to offer.
When I got home I tried to do some adulting, got a degree and a job and immediately regretted my decision. Thanks to a flatmate who found operating a toaster challenging, I started cooking and didn’t stop.
Not to sound corny about it, but I’d found my passion. It filled the gap racing left. I constantly wanted to make things better, faster and more efficient. Taking inspiration from my travels, my cooking focussed on soul food. Things took a turn for the extreme when I bought an American ambulance, converted it into a catering van and quit my job. BBQ Lab was open for business. We served fine dining inspired American BBQ gone turbo... the kitchen was full of flamethrowers, liquid nitrogen, and lab equipment that I can barely pronounce, let alone spell. The goal was to make the best BBQ we could, by any means necessary.
One day I put wings on the menu and 3 months later they won WingFest for the best wings in London. We dropped the ribs and went long on wings and fried chicken.
Thunderbird Fried Chicken was born.