About the family business
Mick has a drive and keen passion to deliver a customer service like no other, his management experience has given him the understanding of what a customer is looking for:- an uncomplicated arrangement of the booking, good notification of when the team are due to arrive and a good job done right first time.
Dahl has a passion to deliver product knowledge and only the best will do and a combination of both Dahl and Mick's experience and friendship delivers a service second to none.
Karl, Dahl's youngest son has worked with the team since leaving school at 16. He is a great tribute to his dad and has a keen eye for small details being done right.
Daniel, Mick's eldest son also works for teh business since leaving school. Daniel is now full time at Sunderland University studying for a master's degree but still spends a lot of time working in the family business.
Dahl and Mick are not like chalk and cheese but actually very alike. Their wives and fathers can not tell them apart when they answer the phone. They both love cooking and spend most of the day exchanging recipes and ideas. Both love music and travel around listening to Radio 2 or radio Newcastle. We both love our job and it's just as well as we have been through the hard part of setting up a business and showing massive commitment and dedication.
About Mick out of work
At 14 years of age street dancing was all the rage with chart toppers like Shalimar and The Jackson 5. I loved dancing and I was appearing everywhere in the North East with bookings at social clubs and shop fronts such as Geordie Jeans and Top Man.
I went on to sign a record deal after appearing dancing in the London Hippodrome and Pink Elephant. The record was recorded in Phil Phearon studio, the singer of Galaxy's- Dancing Tight. The backing singings where from Wham world tour and photos taken by Eddie Grant camera man. The band which I danced and sung in was called Klockwerke and although I have some photos, I regret that I don't have a copy of the original video. The song was called Klockwerke Mind and wrote by Barry Upton of the famous Brother Hood of Man. Barry went on to write many hits after BHM including Steps first hit 5,6,7,8.
I did mix with the stars and my old school friends could not believe it.
I followed my love for music by DJ for over 20 years, with residence spots in Leeds and Sunderland. I retired from being a DJ from The Pullman Lodge Hotel on Sunderland seafront after 10 very happy years there, when he met his second wife Michelle.
Any spare time is now spent in the kitchen cooking. I have always had a strong passion for cooking and spend any other time I have reading and watching about cookery skills.
I live in Cramlington with my wife and four boys, after emigrating from Sunderland and I have to say I love it!
About Dahl out of work
A long time ago, I used to collect and repair old valve radios. This led to an understanding of radio and television reception and I decided to go into the aerial installation business. It was a lot simpler then!
As the digital age came upon us, I found myself sub-contracting for Sky and eventually met my business partner, Mick who was a manager at the time.
With Mick's management skills and my understanding of the changing technology, we realised that we could be a good team together and decided to form "Plasma & Satellite Ltd."
We also found out that we have a lot in common, an example being a love of cooking.
I am married with two adult sons, one of which is in the navy. My youngest son still lives at home (grrr!) and works for the family business.
I also have a rescued Staffordshire bull terrier called Flash. He looks evil but there's not a bad bone in him. In fact we sometimes foster dogs on a short term basis and Flash loves looking after them.
Although I'm quite methodical in my approach to work and understanding technology, when I'm at home I prefer to put technical things behind me and spend my time in the kitchen, cooking and listening to the radio.
I'm always jealous of Mick's Indian food as he has a complete understanding of the cuisine and knows what works with what. On the plus side, I completely understand Chinese cooking and regularly create multi-course meals for my family. They admit that my favourite dish is very tasty but don't tend to eat it. That's probably because it's chicken feet in black bean sauce ("Fung Chow")!
I love to read old cook books and I'm interested in the history and ways of the preparation of food. I'm fascinated by the old spice routes and the way that food and cooking changed due to the influence of various cultures.
I also love to cure foods and everybody likes my home-cured spiced beef. I hope one day to try my hand at smoking foods and keep threatening my wife that I'm going to build a smoker.
I must share this humorous passage from an old book I love called "Country Man's Cooking" by W. M. W. Fowler, regarding the preparation and cooking of a cormorant...
"Having shot your cormorant, hold it well away from you as you carry it home; these birds are exceedingly verminous and the lice are said to be not entirely host-specific. Hang up by the feet with a piece of wire, soak in petrol and set on fire. This treatment both removes most of the feathers and kills the lice.
When the smoke has cleared away, take the cormorant down and cut off the beak. Send this to the local Conservancy Board who, if you are in the right area, will give you 3/6d or sometimes 5/- for it. Bury the carcase, preferably in a light sandy soil, and leave it there for a fortnight. This is said to improve the flavour by removing, in part at least, the taste of rotting fish.
Dig up and skin and draw the bird. Place in a strong salt and water solution and soak for forty-eight hours. Remove, dry, stuff with whole, unpeeled onions - the onion skins are supposed to bleach the meat to a small extent, so that it is very dark brown instead of being entirely black. Simmer gently in seawater, to which two tablespoons of chloride of lime have been added, for six hours. This has a further tenderising effect. Take out of the water and allow to dry, meanwhile mixing up a stiff paste of methylated spirit and curry powder. Spread this mixture liberally over the breast of the bird. Finally roast in a very hot oven for three hours. The result is unbelievable. Throw it away. Not even a starving vulture would eat it."
I think the final sentence says it all. :)
My Favourite TV Chefs changes every few weeks and I can be inspired constantly in no particular order, my all-time favourite would be the brilliant Floyd. (I could never decide my top 10 songs). My favourite books are the St. Michael range. I have read an Australian Woman's weekly recently and have put my order in with my Google`ing Wife.
Mick's Top 5 TV Chefs
- Michel Roux Jnr. Skill and finesse
- Hairy Bikers- often surprise me, chuckles and relaxes me.
- Delia- a clever cook which doesn't go on about silly details, she assumes you are at a level of cooking.
- Jamie Oliver- not to keen on his style anymore but when I do his recipes I am always impressed.
- Madhur Jaffrey-she is very knowledgeable and I love her straight faced sarcasm of other chefs.
Mick's Top 10 Cook Books at Home
- Cooking with the Master Chef- Michel Roux Jnr
This book I use to impress and be inspired to dress the plate well
- Master Chef at home- Finalists of Master Chef & John Torode
This book I use to give me ideas of putting ingredients together
- French Family Cooking- Mme Francoise Bernard's
This is the book for French cooking ideas and difference food cultures to eat
- Cooking Month by Month- Mary Nrowak
I use this book to see what food is in season and recipe ideas.
- Complete Encyclopaedia of Chinese Cooking- Mme Grace Zai Chu
I have another which has a lot more Chinese pig's trotter and chicken feet recipes but the book is so old and there are few pictures.
- Delia's- Happy Christmas
This book comes out every Christmas from my shelves and look forward to the next year it comes out
- Curry fire and spice- Mridula Baljekar
Curry from around the world with lovely glossy pictures to copy
- Mums know best -Hairy Bikers
Brilliant well tested recipes
- The Love of cooking- Sonia Allison
My Bible, this has everything and was my mam's; I recognise so many recipes when reading through it.
- Amore Bermuda - Livio Ferigo
This guy has a restaurant opposite my sister's house in Bermuda. I have tried 2 recipes from it so far and both where awesome