A Day in the Life - James Beck, Chef and Restaurant Owner

. May 19, 2015
Photography by James Beck.
A Day in the Life - James Beck, Chef and Restaurant Owner

From experimenting with cracking eggs with a miniature electric saw to foraging in the garden with his twins, a day in the life of chef James Beck involves a lot of playing. We followed him on Instagram for a day to get an insight into the preparations behind Hawke's Bay food festival, Winter F.A.W.C.

It's just over one week until Hawke's Bay is host once more to one of the country's best food festivals, Winter Food and Wine Classic (F.A.W.C). Over a series of four weekends from the 5th June, the region will come alive with a series of winter-oriented food events, dinners and workshops, showcasing the natural bounty of the region. To view the full programme of events and to book tickets, visit www.fawc.co.nz

To celebrate the season of eating, we've invited three Winter F.A.W.C participants to take over our Instagram account (@dishmagnz), giving us a candid insight into the preparations that are taking place for their unique food events. This week, Dish followed James Beck, head chef and owner of Taste Cornucopia, Hastings for the day. We were introduced to James last year at summer F.A.W.C, attending his beautiful six course dinner and learning more about his international Michelin-starred kitchen experiences. Here's what a day in his life looks like...

10am: Little Helpers 

I love family time. This morning my twin boys and I had a forage in our vege garden. It’s important to teach kids where their food comes from. 

12pm: Ti Kouka Organic Butchery

Mark from Ti Kouka Organic Butchery is an awesome butcher. Here he is teaching me a few tricks of the trade. The bacon that’s coming off will be served at my sold out Winter F.A.W.C Bollinger Brunch at Millar Road next month.

 3pm: Champagne Tasting

It’s tough, but someone's got to do it! Taste testing the Bolly with the infamous Mac at Havelock North’s Advintage. Obviously I’m not the only one who likes Bolly – my F.A.W.C events sold out on the first day. Awesome! 

5pm: An Eggsperiment

This is hilarious. I did 30 of these for my first F.A.W.C event two years ago - a 15 course degustation. The idea is to hollow out the eggs and then fill the shells. Not as easy as it sounds so thought I’d better get some practise in before attempting it again!

7pm: Future Plans

Checked in with my design team this afternoon. This year is an exciting one for me – I’ve got a new venture starting in Napier in Spring. These letters spell the name of my new restaurant. All will be revealed in a few months. 

Tickets to James Beck's Bollinger Brunch are unfortunately sold out. However, the Winter F.A.W.C schedule is full of other incredibly creative dining events. View the full programme at www.fawc.co.nz.