The Evolution of Stevie...
If you’ve got this far, are you just very curious, got nothing to do, falling in love with me?
I don’t promise thrills abound in the following text, but hey, you’re here and reading so let’s do this…
I grew up just outside Wigan in the 80’s & 90’s, can’t fault my childhood in any way really, my parents are great people (but if you tell them I said that, I may have to beat you) and the rest of my family are only really as mad as any family. I had some good friends, my best mate is still in my life 35 years after we met and that’s pretty cool if you ask me. I did all the normal boy things, went to school, played rugby, dressed up in girls’ clothes when no one else was around, you know, standard.
I did school, sixth form college, University and then started on a career in software engineering in 2001. I’ve mainly worked in mobile telecoms which gave me the opportunity to do a lot of travel (and try a lot of food) but currently I work for Cisco in their custom engineering group on digital TV solutions. I enjoy my day job but I’m often asked why I don’t do food full time. Maybe some day, but food is something I love rather than just like and I don’t want to do anything that is detrimental to that love.
I’ve had many hobbies in my life and I never really stuck to any of them apart from cooking, which up until about 10 years ago I didn’t really think of as a hobby. In fact when I started doing competition barbecue my dad kept moaning at me about what I was spending on equipment because I’d no doubt “give it up in 6 months’ time”, but ah-ha daddy dearest, how wrong you were! 8 years on and yeah, I suspect when my palate can detect flavours other than hickory again when I take a break. So yes, I’d say I’m in BBQ for the long haul. I’m not desperate to make a name for myself, become a celeb or anything like that, I’ve seen so many UK BBQ people self-destruct chasing this dream over the last decade, sometimes its been funny, sometimes its been sad.
I think I’m about the longest surviving regular competitor on the UK BBQ scene having been at this since the very first IBQN competition in 2009. I don’t think any of the Brits who competed prior to that are still doing it, at least not regularly. I’ve been pretty successful, with plenty of walks, never been at the very top because I just don’t take it seriously enough. A little secret for you, I prefer the drinking and social bit over the formulaic competition cooking bit. Oh no, that’s sacrilege!!!
Enough of BBQ, what else to say, oh yeah, in 2015 I came out as transgender, that shocked a few people. To be fair, it shocked me that I finally managed to drag myself out of the closet after 30+ years in it. I’ve actually written a post on being trans, because its a complex thing and its something I like to talk openly about. Increasing understanding, increasing acceptance, this is what I like to see.
So I guess, yep, that’s a summary of me in a few paragraphs. Maybe I’ll revisit this page at some point and write something a bit better, but for now this is all you’re getting. If you want to know more about me, seek me out at an event and have a chat with me. Bring wine!!!