My Journey


About Me

I have been a chef for over 50 years, my background is a normal working class one. I was brought up in a large Irish family, our diet was healthy and hearty, After leaving school it was culinary college then to continue my knowledge as chef in hotels in London. this is where I found I had a real passion for cooking.

After a couple of years in hotels I joined the army as a chef where I really learned my trade serving in different countries and cooking different cuisines. I became a vegetarian in the Army around 40 years ago, which was hard for me and also to my wife who didn’t know until I returned from Norway that I was now a vegetarian. The choices for Vegetarians in the early 1980’s was very basic so not only had I to learn a different style and ingredients to satisfy both mine and my wife’s nutritional needs and our tastes.

To keep fit I swam and played rugby. when I became a military culinary instructor I took up martial arts , and spent a lot of my spare time doing Akido. My Sensei (my teacher) introduced me into Japanese food, although he ate fish I didn’t, so when he took me too Japanese restaurants he explained about the different types of food but also their nutritional benefits. He instilled in me the power of food and its benefits for life. After leaving the military I followed my passion for cooking and worked for myself before returning to teaching as a culinary instructor

I attended university later in life and I now have a masters degree in Culinary Arts from the university of Birmingham, but continued my search for better nutrition and personal health. A leading part of the masters was research. I considered a PHD but settled for a doctorate in Public health. I completed two years before being diagnosed with dyslexia, strange how I managed to get a distinction in my masters degree with dyslexia, But actually it made sense, I often wondered why what I read and wrote wasn’t clear on the page. It seems my brain sequenced things differently so what I saw and wrote wasn’t always understood by the professor reading my admissions. She explained the process and although I would now get more time with my admissions. I decided that actually it might be better to finish and consider it at a later date.

However the 2 years gave me clarity and purpose and its where I found out about the power of Natto. I already ate Soy and Tofu, but a chance meeting with another lifelong researcher in a coffee shop with his elderly mother and father, they were both in their late eighties. He asked if I had ever eaten Natto, and he explained that he ate it every day and so did his parents. What was a cordial chat turned out to be life changing event for me as I learned about the power of Natto what it was. He mentioned a piece of research I should read. which was to be…

The Rotterdam Study

This research focussed on cardiovascular disease, it was a 10 year study and they were looking for something different than the expected arteries with saturated fats and cholesterol, they were right but the unexpected was unexpected the arteries were clogged with Calcium or Aortic Calcification. this calcification was something which blocked arteries hence slowing the flow of blood solidifying the arteries and led to possible heart attacks and other health problems associated with it.

But what caused it and how did calcium get into the arterial walls?

It appears with the processing of foodstuffs in the 60’s and mass production of food produce/ manufacturing/intensive farming. A key nutrient became came absent form our diet. this nutrient is a vitamin called K2. Basically Vitamin K2 Controls the distribution of calcium in the body. Calcium when it is eaten should be going into the bones but it appears not all of it is, and thus strengthening the bones and also allowing the blood vessels to become supple and blood flows easier and blood pressure returns to normal and your heart health becomes better

Why should you eat it ?

  • Its a probiotic so good for Gut health
  • It can lower your blood pressure
  • Just 10mcg of Natto can reduce cardiovascular disease by 9% that’s around half a teaspoon.
  • It can help prevent fractures in later life
  • It can help with Osteoporosis
  • It could help prevent prostrate cancer in men
  • It can help with the menopause

So what’s the process?

When Soy beans are fermented with activated bacteria, it creates a magical substance called Natto-Kinaise its within this sequence that an enzyme called MK7 or menaquinone is developed, the fermented beans has this enzyme, thus Vitamin K2 is born. Its this fermentation process which gives Natto its distinctive characteristics of taste, texture and Odour. Finally it was this gained knowledge from the research that allowed me to understand what was going on alongside how humidity and incubation of the product was critical to produce the best strings and mouth feel with Natto.

How to eat it?

Simply with hot Rice, or I eat it with soya sauce and mustard, it can be used in cooking with no loss of nutrients but its still trial and error. I have a product I feel is the best it can be. But I still try and make it better. I do eat it every day although my wife does struggle with the odour and slimy mouthy feel of the product, so much in fact I can now make a batch which doesn’t smell so bad, or have the slime and a better mouth feel. There is loss of Vitamins or K2 in the product and the eating qualities are not affected, but I do prefer the natural one with all its characteristics. Eat it with friends and family

Why I eat It?

Its healthy, good for my heart and Bones, as I get older I know it will make my bones stronger, keep my Gut healthy, alongside I enjoy the taste. I eat it daily without worry, my brothers and friends now eat it Daily. I wish I had of known about the Natto 9 years ago as I had an enlarged prostate which required surgery and from the research if I had of been eating Natto who knows what a different outcome I might have had. As you can read Natto has many benefits for health and well being. My wife says her hair is stronger and her nails are growing, that’s likely the better distribution of calcium after all its a ‘Superfood’.