My name is Fred Johnson and I am a qualified chef, traveller and I have run my preserves and delicacies business, Elfreds Of The Peninsula for over twenty years. I’ve been cooking in kitchens all over the world for over 40 years. I am also a qualified Chef and Cooking Trainer.
My love affair with food and markets started long ago as a child. I spent a lot of time going to the markets for mum. At the age of 10, I was sent to markets to go and buy vegetables, chillis, meats, fish. When I was a kid I remember playing in the little village night market. It was on most nights of the week as far as I can remember.
My fascination with food continued later on in life as a young chef. I have travelled far and wide as a chef and whenever I travelled, it was the markets that I wanted to check out first. When you got off a bus in a new town or city, it was near to a market. Markets are the centre point of most communities.
I soon got to know what a new town or city was like from the vibe of the market. I would walk up and down the rows of vegetable & fruit sellers. The butchers and the fishmongers, checking out what was locally available. You can learn all about the food that will be available on the restaurant menus from the aisles at the local markets.
As a young chef; as soon as I couldn’t ignore the bug anymore, I found myself looking for more than just working in the kitchen from morning to night. I ended up after one of my stints abroad in America this time, coming back with the knowledge of Mexican cuisine. As most chefs do, all I wanted to do was show off what I had learnt.
So as soon as possible I got myself a spot at Glastonbury Festival in the UK. So was born Elfreds Mexican Cantina. I traded at Glastonbury Festival serving Mexican Food for the next 40 years. For a while there, life revolved around festivals and shows. During the off-season I worked for the catering companies in London. We travelled all over Britain and Europe. At stately homes, shows, business functions, premieres and weddings. You name it we did the lot.
My experiences as a market and festival trader that I have passed on has helped many new and old traders on their way to a successful career as market traders. Helping them to avoid the pitfalls and saving them time and money. With over thirty years’ experience at festivals and markets, I have seen the ups and downs and ins and outs of how they work. As a Trainer and Assessor, I am qualified to pass on my knowledge to all new beginners to the world of markets.