Ainsley Harriott trained at the Westminster College of Catering. For our cricketing enthusiasts’ information, Ainsley was Head Chef at Lord’s Cricket Ground’s Long Room. On the London scene he has been associated with the Dorchester, Brown’s, the Hilton, the Westbury, Café Pelican and Quaglino’s.
In 2000 he had his own television show in the USA. This ran for 100 episodes. However, many of us have been fans of the long-running BBC television show Ready Steady Cook which he presented. One of the regular chefs featuring successfully on this programme with Ainsley was Lesley Waters, who is resident here in Dorset running her own cookery school near Bridport. Apparently Lesley is a fan of Thomas Hardy’s novels!
When looking for a Society patron, our Secretary approached Ainsley Harriott, as she recalled his 2008 appearance on the TV programme, Who do you think you are? Ainsley had set out on the genealogy trail knowing that he had slave ancestors. What this programme revealed was that he also had a white sugar baron ancestor who had recognised the child and handed on the family name of Harriott.
We are grateful for Ainsley letting us use his name as our patron and for his good will message to the Society: “Thank you for bringing important history to people’s attention…we still all need to know”.