Fatherhood & Raising Kids Who LOVE Food
10 min read
Tom joins Madeleine as the first male guest on the Get Your Glow Back podcast, and discusses all things from fussy eating, food to fatherhood. In this snippet, Tom talks about how the idea for Babease came about. You can listen to the full conversation here.
I’d love to hear your story – you were private chef all over the world, and now you own your own baby food brand – how did that journey happen?
I’ve always been around food, and I’ve always loved food. Food has always been a real central part of my life, right from a little kid, I am one of 5, so you have to do random things to get attention when you are in a big family – so my thing was always trying to eat the opposite of what my brothers and sisters ate. Which meant that if there was a cheese and onion quiche (for example), that was the one I steered clear of, and I would go for my mum and dads which would have bene broccoli and stilton, even if I didn’t like it. So, I was kind of challenging myself, which meant that I developed quite a (I hate this word) sophisticated palate, that was quite advanced for my age. So, I’ve always been the one in the family that would eat things that were weird. But then over the years I have developed this obsession with food that is quite helpful when you become a chef, and so, food has always been such an important part of my life that it was a natural thing to do when leaving school. I worked my way through the ranks in kitchens, the good old fashioned apprentice style – working day in day out, pulling in all the shifts, until I eventually ended up being a private chef where I was travelling the world looking after some quite interesting people: from the lead singer of Simple Minds, Jim Kerr, to Craig David (without dropping too many names…!) So, it has been a really interesting journey, and all along the way I’ve been obsessed with fussy eating, it just puzzles me why one person likes something and another person doesn’t?
I just think there are so many reasons people develop a like or dislike. I’ve always zoomed in on someone who doesn’t like something and tried to challenge myself, because I love food SO much, I can’t imagine why someone would not like mushrooms, mushrooms are SO delicious. So, then you ask, what is it you don’t like about mushrooms? And often it comes down to things like texture, its rarely the taste. The same with tomatoes, which is another good example, people say they hate tomatoes, but they love Bolognese, they love ketchup, they love tomato soup, but they don’t like raw tomatoes. So, there is often this psychology around it.
When I turned 30, (I was always out working as a chef for all of my 20’s and up to my mid-30’s) my friends started having kids, and when I saw a friend pull a pouch out of the bag I was curious, I’d never seen food served in a pouch before – do you mind If I have a taste? So, I tasted it, and said ‘oh my god guys have you tried this, have you tasted this, it’s disgusting!? I was really puzzled, I was expecting it to not be really yummy, but I found it SO sweet when it was described as something savoury, and my friend’s response kind of haunted me: “yes, I know, its baby food”. And so, they almost expected, or accepted the fact that it didn’t taste very nice. Then my mind was going all over the place, if this is what we are feeding our kids, it’s no wonder that we have got this problem with children developing a dislike for food, or being fussy over vegetables, and starting to develop a liking for beige flavours. This idea got stuck in my head, that there must be something in it – that the food we are feeding our kids, can influence whether you like something or dislike something. So, the seed was sown to start a baby food brand!!! That was 9 years ago now… and here we are today.