Meet Martin Skegg, a new IACP member and food writer based in Portland, OR. Learn more about his culinary background, his inspirations, and his goals for this year.
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Tell us about your culinary background – what inspired you to become a culinary professional? For a time it was food. I was a restaurant critic for the Guardian in London, which had me going to fancy Michelin-starred places as well as the local pub. Then it was all about finding the best bite. But then it was people. I realized I was more interested in what the chefs and producers were doing, their ideas, ways of working and ardor. That was more compelling as a writer rather than simply reviewing a dish. I also started to write about wine when I moved to Oregon as I had an abundance of talented winemakers on my doorstep.
Who do you consider to be your culinary role model? Other writers, mainly. MFK Fisher, Elizabeth David, Wendell Berry, Jonathan Meades. All very different, approaching food from different places but all intelligent and honest. I always liked watching Keith Floyd’s TV shows. Though he created the template for the modern celebrity chef (travelogue format, seasonal food, a casual throw-it-together way of cooking) there was always something anarchic about his programs that made fascinating viewing.
What brought you to IACP? What are you looking forward to taking part in as an IACP member? To see what other people are doing and working on and to make connections, especially in unusual or creative ways.
What culinary projects are you working on currently? More writing! I also co-run a wine education program (sundayschoolpdx.com), which is has been growing and is branching out into other areas, such as publications and online teaching.
Tell us a bit about your professional goals for the next several years – what projects would you like to accomplish? I want to combine my food/wine writing with more travel; I love meeting people from different cultures who want to share their vision and passions. There are plans for Sunday School to develop into something much larger, as well.
Ingredient that we’ll always find in your kitchen? Cheese. And wine. (Do they count as ingredients?)