THIS ‘Bridgwater Boy’ is a family man both at home and at work.

The ‘family feeling’ grew with him from living on a ‘friendly’ council estate in Bridgwater.

To be precise Linham Road, and this ‘family feeling’ has followed him throughout his career as a chef.

John Suddaby-Newman is the new head chef in Taunton’s newest restaurant, Albatross, which is located in Riverside Place.

Speaking about this ‘family feeling’, he said: “I come from a council estate in Bridgwater which was like a tight knit family where everyone helped out everyone.

“Working in a kitchen is like being part of a family.

“We are a tight knit group in the kitchen and everyone trusts each other.

“We are working in the same direction and it is very much a family feeling in this environment. So I still get to enjoy that ‘family feeling’ working in a kitchen.”

John has a wealth of experience as a cook and is adding to it every day as he ‘loves learning’ and could never learn too much.

Even after a hard day’s work in the kitchen at Augustus, he is happy going home and reading from his library of cook books, which total 200, and come from all corners of the world.

The ‘small world’ which many of us believe the world has become, started for John on a council estate in Bridgwater.

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But his career path has seen him work with an array of top class chefs such as Richard Guest, who he has worked with for 10 years at Augustus) and also worked with at The Castle Hotel in Taunton.

John started cooking when he was 19-years-old at a gastro pub in Taunton when he was helping his brother.

He describe the kitchen as ‘a cupboard’ but he loved the whole experience of being there for three years and soaked up everything he learnt.

He was told if he wanted to improve, then he needed to join a better kitchen and he did by going to The Castle Hotel in Taunton.

John wanted to go up the chef ladder, he yearned to learn and the kitchen at The Castle was like a door opening on a brave new cooking world.

He said: “Working there you very quickly found out how much you knew.

“These were serious chefs with extraordinary talent and this was a time when I learnt so much. As you go along you realise everyone is learning.”

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For the past 10 years, John has worked side by side Richard Guest at Augustus. He was there at the start helping to build the kitchen and described being in the same working environment as Richard as ‘gold’ and ‘a fantastic opportunity’.

Now, John along with Rui Silverio, will be running the new fish/seafood restaurant and he is excited at the new challenge.

He said: “We (all at Augustus) have been talking about it for three/four years. We have been waiting for the right site to come up and the idea of me running it. I see this as a fantastic opportunity.

“There is pressure, but I want to succeed and see this restaurant succeed. I cannot wait.

“It will be a challenge to get something new off the ground but every day is a challenge.

“We will be serving the freshest fish and seafood.

“This will be one of the keys, freshness. “Everything will be straight from the sea. It will all be high quality produce. The fish will be caught that morning and on the menu and customers plates at lunchtime.”

His love for cooking and food runs deep, John said: “I love it, I go to bed and dream about it and think about it when I wake up.

“I have a huge bookcase of book from all corners of the world.

“My family ask me what can they buy me for a birthday or Christmas present and I say a cook book. They say how will that help?

“And I tell them I can look at a book you gave me say on bread and tell you how this changed my idea about rolling bread or another book about Spanish cuisine changed the way I think and made me ask where I could get that spice from and what does it taste like.”

And that in a nutshell, a tarte tatin or a bouillabaisse is John’s passion for food.

He loves the process of trying, of tasting, of seeing what oyster is better, which is meatier, which is tastier, what this spice can do, what is will. bring to a dish.

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He is the 34-year-old child in a sweet shop. He wants to lick every lollipop, and taste every sweet.

Fascination in food cannot just be found in a book, That is just the beginning, You can have the sweet smell of success but you have to see what it tastes like for anything to be a success.