From stars to students
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 July 2013
A British chef who has cooked for royalty, presidents and celebrities is now teaching catering students at Weston College.
Jos Wellman has created meals for most of the royal family including Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as US presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the Bush leaders senior and junior.
He’s made dinners for Frank Sinatra, several James Bond actors, Bon Jovi and a four-tier chocolate cake for Janet Jackson’s 30th birthday.
The 53-year-old returned from a career in New Zealand where he wrote cookery books and fronted TV shows in 2011 to care for his terminally-ill mother but then fell in love with a childhood sweetheart and was offered his new post.
Jos said: “I love my new job and it’s great to be back in England. I’m getting used to the cold but I’m still looking for the sea here – I need binoculars.”
Jos became a part-time chef at 14 and by 17 started his international career in Germany where he was part of a team catering for Russia’s President Brezhnev.
After training across Europe, America and the Bahamas, Jos settled down in Waitangi on New Zealand’s north island.
In 1983 he was chef in charge of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s visit when Prince William was a baby.
In 1990 he spent eight months putting together a menu for the arrival of The Queen and a host of international visitors for the Commonwealth Games.
His favourite American President was Bill Clinton whom he said was ‘utterly charming and down to earth’ and he enjoyed the company of Bond actors Shaun Connery, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.
By far his most unusual diner was comedian and writer Spike Milligan who died in 2002. Jos recalled: “He came into the kitchen to thank me for dinner then just picked up a meat cleaver and proceeded to chop anything lying about.”
Jos returned to the UK when he was told his mum was terminally ill and she died in November.
“When I returned I got close to my sisters again and then met Debbie. We’d been boyfriend and girlfriend when I was 17 and she was 15. We fell in love again, he said.”