Over the last six years, Tim Birch has become a familiar face on TV around the world as his and his wife’s efforts to renovate and restore two chateaux in the Dordogne have been documented on Channel 4’s ‘Escape to the Chateau DIY’ and ‘Chateau DIY’, consistently reaching over a million viewers each week in the UK alone.
Tim grew up in the Leicestershire countryside, and during the summer holidays he worked in local kitchens washing up, and it was there, as well as by his mum’s side in their own kitchen, that his lifelong love of food and cooking developed.
When he left school Tim served an apprenticeship at what was then the UK’s largest corporate hotel outside London, after which he worked in various kitchens around the country honing his skills in different gastro pubs, hotels and city centre restaurants. By the time he had spent a year working under a Michelin-starred chef at a country house hotel in Worcestershire, where he began to fully appreciate the importance of truly fresh, high quality local ingredients as he would pick fresh produce from the hotel’s own vegetable garden to accompany the local game brought in that morning, Tim understood that this was where his future lay.
Tim’s parents lived in the south of France, and over a bottle of wine with them one evening, an idea was hatched to create his own country house hotel, and thus the journey to convert his first run-down chateau began.
Tim’s first cookbook, Tim’s Chateau Kitchen, will be a celebration of the food and food producers of the Périgord through recipes typical of that most wonderful region of France.