I met Al for the first time for a coffee in Notting Hill in January 2014. At the time he was working full time, about to have his first child and training for a marathon yet with time to spare to help me. I built the very first POTAGE website but it was very simple and it was time to update. We're really lucky to have Al as a part of our team, responsible for building the website and new app.
How did you get into web development?
I wrote my first webpage over 20 years ago at university whilst studying Computer Science and always enjoyed it as a past time, registering my first website in 1999. I got a job programming radar and defence systems when I left university but after a few years I moved into working on the company Intranet. Since then I moved to London to work for the BBC on the Top Gear and RadioTimes websites, before going freelance into web and now mobile phone app development.
Describe your typical day?
I'm usually up early when my 18 month old wakes, then after some playtime with him I have a 30 minute run to work and then a breakfast of porridge and banana. I'm currently working on building iPhone and Android apps and APIs for a money transfer company so I get a great variety coding in Swift, C# or Node.JS depending on what's needed. Lunch is quick - just a sandwich, then I finish work at 5.30 and run home to help my wife give our son his tea. After playtime and putting him to bed I enjoy dinner and start on any Potage related work that needs doing.
What's in your fridge?
Parmesan, lettuce, beer, greek yoghurt, broccoli.
What are your 10 kitchen cupboard essentials?
Chilli flakes, pasta, garlic, olive oil, chickpeas, passata, noodles, breadsticks, frozen peas, puff pastry.
Is there anything you don't like?
Fresh coriander - i've never liked it and I can taste it instantly. It really ruins a meal for me!
Ideal Sunday lunch?
Roast beef and lovely homemade Yorkshire puddings.
One cooking tip?
I love the Potage pesto and decant it into smaller containers and freeze it. An ice-cube sized hunk of pesto mixed with eggs and milk makes a fantastic breakfast omelette.
The utensil you use most in the kitchen?
My knives, a good set of knives really does make chopping much simpler.
Favourite places to eat?
Le Cochonnet in Maida Vale. It has the best pizzas and it's kid friendly so a popular choice for us.
Your favourite cookery author and book?
Jamie Oliver - The Naked Chef. I was in a house share when I got this book and we'd have dinner parties 4 or 5 nights a week cooking from this book. I love the balance of simplicity and vibrancy of taste in his recipes.
Your best dining experience?
I love having dinner at Vanilla Black. It's a vegetarian restaurant but not the bland wholefood lentil sort of place which is totally uninspiring for me. Although I'm not vegetarian the flavours and textures they produce is incredible and you completely forget there's no meat!
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Your ultimate holiday?
The alps in summertime is a pretty amazing place - clean air, great food and some seriously good downhill mountain biking to work up an appetite.
POTAGE | Eating Well Made Easy