The essential journalist news source


Young, passionate andvegetarian, Head ChefAidan Mannionis carving the future for sustainable cooking at the successfulMill & Brewdining destination in North London.

With a confidence which belies his 22 years, Aidan Mannion has designed an eco-friendly menu which caters for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free using as much local produce as he can.

Despite these impeccable meat-free credentials, there are some meat options on the omnivore menu and Mannion sees it a professional duty to overlook his beliefs and taste the meat he cooks. He tells us: "I could never eat meat again and I am moving closer to a vegan way of life. As a chef, it is hard to cut out eggs, but I consume very little dairy; I always use oat milk in my coffee!

"However, I will always taste the meat I make for others to make sure it is cooked to perfection.

"I cater to my customer and the balance of flavour is important to me."

Having trained on the prestigious apprenticeship programme ‘15' conducted byJamie Oliver, Mannion is as passionate as his famous mentor about organically sourced ingredients and will scour local food markets and order from farm shops. Oliver would regularly take his trainees on excursions to track down really fresh produce and Mannion is grateful for these experiences as he believes them to have been fundamental in shaping his future career.

Only 10 other candidates graduated from the 15 Training Course, with Mannion deciding that his future probably lay in fine dining after which he landed a job in the kitchens of the acclaimed Grove Hotel in Watford, where the England Football team often stay.

Despite this immediate success, Mannion felt the pull of artisan cooking and was keen to embrace environmentally friendly catering. He comments that: "With fine dining, you waste so much food. Even if it is fresh, after two days it gets thrown away.

"In this style you think about the environment a bit more.

"Since going vegetarian not only am I healthier but I think so much more about the environment. It's made me naturally attracted to this way of cooking."

Committed to going green, Mannion is constantly developing innovative ways to use ingredients.

For example, an avocado is more versatile than it appears. He explains: "If I have a bit of avocado that starts to go brown, I spread it on a baking tray to make avocado oil. Not only can you eat it but it's good for your hair and skin.

"If I have some left over, I use it to make my own face creams and they work wonders for your complexion.

"I utilise every last bit of an ingredient; I want to be as sustainable as I can."

Mannion has a passion for creating as much from scratch as possible and supports a self-sufficient lifestyle. He often goes foraging for berries to produce his own preserves.

The menu at Mill & Brew reflects the tastes of all types of foodies. The vegetarian All-day Breakfast is particularly popular: two fried eggs, grilled halloumi, smashed avocado, homemade baked beans, a baked tomato and Portobello mushroom, potato rosti, a small green salad & toast!

Bizarrely, Mannion discovered a passion for cooking during a holiday role washing pots at a Toby Carvery. Originally destined to go to university to study history, he quickly found himself skipping school to learn to be a chef.

Having got the bug, he changed his plans and applied for the Jamie Oliver programme and he hasn't looked back since. His passion and talent are a beacon to foodies all over London.  He confirms that he has never had cause to regret his decision!


For further information and images contact Melanie Faldo