Tim Firth is a writer, producer and composer, famous for his TV work and captivating West End shows. His play Calendar Girls, adapted from his own film, was a huge hit with audiences across the UK during its 2008/09 tour, and in the process broke the all time British box office record for a play.
His new musical, The Band, has now been produced by David Pugh Dafydd Rogers, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams. Featuring the music of Take That, the new production follows a group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their boy band heroes.
Emma Williams is an actress working on the stage, screen, TV and radio. At the age of 18, she made her stage debut playing the role of Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The role won her the Arts Correspondent Award for Best Newcomer and she has since gone on to be nominated four times for an Olivier Award.
With a number of film to stage musical adaptations under her belt, Emma is now leading the cast of An Officer and a Gentleman as leading lady Paula Pokrifki.
Chef Jonathan Scinto is a celebrity chef who owns a successful private parties and events business. He’s famous for being a hit on the FOX TV show MasterChef 6 and has since appeared on the live version of the TV Show “IronChef Showdown” and represented New York at the World Food Championships.
After being in charge of catered events for A-list celebs for post-production house Post Perfect, a successful several years working in Manhattan, and even opening his own 40 seat Café in Bayshore, Chef Jonathan went on to become a culinary household name.
1. You’ve been on MasterChef Season 6, Food Network “Chopped” and the live version of the TV Show “IronChef Showdown”: Autumn Bounty Battle for NYCFF 10th Anniversary (to name a few!). Do you find the cameras have changed your approach/style of cooking at all?
My approach for cooking hasn’t changed for the camera, but how I’m plating is a factor
because of the time limits, you can’t get as intricate as you would like, remember its TV so not everything you see is accurate, the magic of editing plays a huge factor.
2. You have a range of utility and cutting boards coming out. How did this come about?
I’m an Ambassador for several national brands like Certified Hereford Beef, Happy Chef Uniforms, Bedlam Vodka, Gubba Rum, Mie Radici and Toma Artisanal Bloody Mary Mix to name a few. It was just a natural thing that feel in place because of me reaching out to NOLA Cutting Boards and telling them about the World Food Championships, so you can 100% say that the WFC opened up a ton of doors for sponsors and partnerships.
3.You’ll be competing in the World Food Championships this year, what will you be doing to prepare for the competition?
This is my 3rd year in a row competing for the WFC. The 2 previous years I competed in the Seafood Category and Chef Category, finishing in 19th and 13th in the World. This year I will be in toughest category Steak, with an expected 100 competitors in the category with only 10 competitors moving on.
There’s several months of R&D, searching and sourcing for the right products, executing the dishes and finally working on the plating and setup of the dish. Plus making sure we have the right plates to fit on the tray. I definitely have an upper hand with my ingredients this year, as I will be using Certified Hereford Beef and some really awesome secret ingredients. Also my 12 yr. old daughter Jules will be my Sous Chef this year.
4.You are the owner of Chef Jonathan’s Private Parties and Events, what do you bring to your client’s events that nobody else does better?
I never compare to other Caterers or Chefs, there’s so much talent in the culinary industry. I do believe I bring an element of ‘Cheftainment’ and interactivity to all my events. All of my dinner events are custom made menus to the client’s palate and I only use the freshest herbs and ingredients for the client. They get a first-hand look at the product being used right in front of them, so it’s not just eating it’s a culinary experience.
5. Are there any ingredients that you use a lot that would surprise people?
I don’t think it would be a surprise as far as ingredients, but I do like using a lot of fresh herbs, elephant garlic and soy sauce. I’m super loyal to specific products and I only use these brands for all of my demos, events and private parties: Big Sur Salts (Infused Salts), Mie Radici Real Sicilian EVOO, Gotham Steel Cookware, Blue Collar Blades (Custom Knives) and Certified Hereford Beef.
And just for fun…
6. What’s your favourite food memory?
When I was a toddler I used to watch Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse instead of Sesame Street on PBS and would copy them in my parents Co-op in Queens, in the kitchen throwing stuff in the blender, scrambling eggs on the floor and practicing my knife techniques on their vinyl chairs.
7. When was the last time you were scared or nervous in thekitchen?
Honestly, I’ve never been either of the 2, it’s just a natural feeling and my happy place. I find peace being able to create and serve my culinary interpretations to my clients.
8. What stories from your life will you tell your children about?
I’ve told my 3 girls ages 12, 5, and 4 many stories already of how being a kid in the 80’s living in Queens is so different to the kids today with all this technology around them. Plus I threw in some of my craziness as a young adult, whilst leaving out some details …lol
9. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Emeril Lagasse is a no brainer for me, it’s his passion about food and life that gets me excited. He is definitely someone I’ve looked up to as a person, not just a Chef.
10. What childish thing do you still enjoy?
I love to watch Disney movies and cartoons. I’m definitely a goof ball with my kids and a big kid at heart.
You can find out more about Chef Jonathan’s Parties and Events here.
Looking for more tv and film entertainment interviews? Check out our interview with Director of Photography David Procter.
David Procter is an internationally acclaimed Director of Photography with production experience across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. His body of work includes film, cinematic documentaries, commercials, music promos and most recently, a new Netflix Original series.
Alongside commercials for Puma, Nike, Jaguar, ASOS and Issey Miyake (to name a few), David’s work has been recognised by worldwide ceremonies including the British Independent Film Awards, Cannes, and the Camerimage Festival for the Art of Cinematography.
His commitment to his craft recently earned him a nomination for Best Cinematography at the 2017 MTV VMAs.
Gwen Holbrey is the owner and head instructor of The Watermelon Studios. As a child, she grew up trying multiple styles of dance and went on to complete a degree in Drama. After attending pole classes and becoming head instructor for another school, she took the plunge and opened her own business. Her studio quickly became a Scottish success story, coming second in the Off The Pole best studio awards and attracting pole artists from all over the world, visiting to teach exclusive workshops. The school also attracts world class sports photographers looking to shoot both Gwen and her Watermelon ‘Pips’ (students).
With classes booked to capacity every week, Gwen has just opened her second school, introducing Zumba, Body Blitz and Yoga alongside her famous pole classes. Most recently, The Watermelon Studio was the first pole studio to get to the final of the Edinburgh Business Awards 2018, and proudly took home the Community Award.