Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Revelations: Fred De Fay, founder of Breakfast En Bread and Barge House, east London

22 January 2021
Fred De Fay

What was your best subject at school?

Art – it allowed me to be myself

What was your first job?

I was an assistant recording engineer in Paris when I was 16. At the age of 21 I was taken to London by the band Eurythmics to be their personal recording engineer. After this, during the 1990s, I carried on trucking with the Eurythmics

What was your first job in catering?

It was with party and events agency Debbie Does in 2000 – the beginning of a great adventure and partnership

What do you do to relax?

Fencing – what a sport and skill!

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Coffee and cigarettes

Which is your favourite restaurant?

The Wolseley in London. Many a time I've arrived for lunch with friends and left at 10pm

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

My mum and dad, which is kind of a cliché. My mum was the first ballerina at the Opéra de Lille and my dad was the first solo violin musician to play at the Paris Opera. When they both took their final bow in performing arts, they opened a beautiful restaurant called Moulin De Flaujagues in rural Bordeaux. I helped out in the kitchen every August for 17 years

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

When I'm not in the kitchen I'm a live touring engineer, sound designer and composer of contemporary dance music

What irritates you most about the industry?

You just need to get on with it. You are here to please people who eat your food, not to be irritated by the nature of the industry

Who would play "you" in a film about your life?

Good luck finding someone!

What's your favourite film?

Down by Law by Jim Jarmusch

If you had more time, what would you do?

Just… nothing

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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