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I never really agreed with the stereotype of the chef life style of stupidly long hours fuelled by drugs and alcohol that you find in a lot professional kitchens (this is changing a lot in the last few years by the way), but it was all i wanted to do when i left school and i wanted to be the best i possibly could at it.

I found I would never really fit in with the people at a lot of places i worked in the first couple of years. They used to think i was strange if i went for a run on my break of when i didn’t partake in the drugs and drinking to get me through the long hours. And WOW when i got into juicing and turned up to work in the morning with a bottle of green smoothie that was just insane to them. But i didn’t let that effect my mission. All i wanted to do was work hard and learn as much as i possible could from the experience of being there. I was determined that i was going to get out and start my own thing as soon as I felt i had enough knowledge and was able to do so. At the time i had absolutely no idea what that was going to be by the way

My name’s Jay Halford and I’m on a mission; a mission to re-educate people into realising how easy it is to make the transition into feeding their body what is so desperately craves.  

My background as a chef and in catering has meant that for me, taste always comes first. I believe that you should recognise every ingredient that is used in a recipe; how they are best combined to create the ultimate taste. 

Where did my journey begin? Well, my love of food began at the age of 13; I worked in a busy Italian restaurant, washing pots for what can only be described as a nutcase of a chef with a huge passion for food. It was here that I decided that upon leaving school I would complete an apprenticeship – I did and then got straight into it. I started work at Lords of the Manor, A Michelin Star restaurant close to my home in Cheltenham. There, I met a great friend, Mark; his work ethic was impressive, he showed me his dedication to food and the hard work it entailed. 

I won’t lie, after two years of learning everything involved, the long hours and stress became too much. I was beginning to lose my love of being a chef – not of food though, nothing could dispel that. This was a life-changing time as it prompted me to travel the world. You can imagine the variety of foods, juicing and techniques I was exposed to – this just fuelled my love of food even further. I realised I could still do what I loved doing but in the way that I wanted to do it. It is now a massively growing trend, with many more people now consciously thinking about their health and what they are putting into their bodies.

Returning to Cheltenham, I knew it was time to incorporate my new way of thinking into my life. A personal trainer friend of mine introduced me to raw food and clean living; I was hooked. Adopting juicing and raw foods into my life, it had a profound effect and I wanted to share this with the world. This is when ‘The Core in Cheltenham’ was created. My passion was infectious, business was flourishing and most importantly, I saw the effect of re-educating my customers; they felt proud of themselves, they knew what they were nourishing their bodies with and they were hungry (pun intended!) for more.

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Author Jay Halford

I am a health-conscious chef specializing in plant-based cuisine that incorporates juice programmes, food programmes, online cooking courses, recipes and educational resources that inspire the pursuit of a healthier way of living. I believe that your diet is supposed to be your greatest ally, supporting you to feel strong, look good, think clearly and achieve your goals, nothing less. A consistent healthy plant-based diet does that 100% - and I am committed to helping you experience its real healing power so that once you discover it, you'll never want to look back.

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