top of page
Image of Johnny Minton at a farmers market next to his booth

A born forager and chef

 Let loose at 14 in the fields of Sussex, England Jonny found his first true forage: abundant wild sorrel. It later became a delicious soup which is still remembered by some.

I have always been fascinated by food and at 6 yrs was a constant visitor to the kitchen where I sat on the sideboard and watched the activities of our cook, Mrs. Weaver. She made pies and cakes  and she disemboweled the chickens my mother bought at the farm.. I remember seeing the egg yolk without shell in the innards and was amazed! A few years on I started my cooking career and one of my first achievements was an excellent marmalade from the exotic Seville oranges of Spain.

I read many cook-books but was especially inspired by Elizabeth David, who brought Mediterranean food to life with her vivid descriptions and recipes. I started to explore a different terrain: the markets and shops of Soho. This was a fruitful search and I bought home the ingredients for ratatouille, which were then unavailable elsewhere. The average greengrocer in England at that time stocked an uninspiring selection of potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower. It did improve somewhat in summer with local cucumbers and tomatoes and, of course, to coincide with Wimbledon Tennis very sweet strawberries.

Reading a different book; the classic cookbook and memoir by Alice B Toklas I became intent on finding the  essential ingredient for turtle soup. I headed off to that renowned luxury store Fortnum and Mason. They have a most impressive food hall and the staff ,at that time wore frockcoats and bow ties. I told my helper I was looking for turtle meat, dried. He said he'd have a look. After a long wait he returned, his coat and hat covered in dust. He explained that he'd been investigating the basement and had indeed found a whole dried turtle, which cost ten pounds sterling. To my lasting embarrassment I turned him down and never made that turtle soup.

Culinary activities were replaced by academic one whilst I finished school and was awarded a scholarship to Hertford College Oxford. During a summer break I took a trip east with my friends and discovered the food of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.

Traipsing through the casbahs and street markets I enlarged my knowledge.

At 21 years with my degree secured I embarked on a wonderful journey to India that was an exploration of the smells, colors and flavors of that country. I remember taking a bus ride through Tamil Nadu in the South and the the waft of coconut oil from the hair of the Indian ladies in front of me was delightful. That same coconut was a principal ingredient of the cuisine. I embraced the spices of North and South India and utilize them in my cooking to this day.

After that: America!  I moved to Los Angeles in the 70's and whole new range of cuisines popped up. Salsa excited me with it's bold flavors. Eating Thai cuisine was a revelation and that first taste of Thom Ka kai remains indelibly in my memory.

I have cooked professionally in several restaurants in London and Los Angeles for a total of 20 years. 

My foraging continues in markets, fields and seashores across California. I have a great respect for pigs and have been curing pork now for many years. Turning raw meat into crudo or ham has been a highlight of my charcuterie efforts.

On this website I offer the culmination of years of practice and experience. You are in safe hands when order my food or have your party catered.

bottom of page