Bacon Wizard is better known as Jasper Aykroyd.

Originally determined to become a blacksmith, he was thwarted by lack of apprenticeships but retained his artisan sensibilities as a master cellarman and later a passionate chef. He still wears a leather apron however, and claims it helps him make better bacon.

Trained in 1997 by T.V. chefs Darina and Rachel Allen (Ballymaloe Cookery School in Co. Cork, Eire) Jasper spent a year working learning the oldest surviving cures, recipes and techniques of craft curers, including those of Maynard Davis who he admires greatly. This provided the foundation on which Bacon Wizard has grown.

After doing so, Jasper advanced in kitchens until as a Michelin-rated head chef in Wiltshire he continued to advance his curing expertise to a new level on the surrounding farms, advising DEFRA on low-nitrite curing issues and performing research into the microbiology of curing.

Jasper is known for his evangelism encouraging local and artisan producers (Alsitair Sawday’s Special Places award for Local, Seasonal and Organic Produce award) and for original thinking. 

In 2008 Jasper was invited by the Slow Food Movement to represent the UK as a chef delegate in Turin.

He spent 2 years in secret experimentation at his Old Butchery hidden away in the Wiltshire Downs while living in his yurt, away from the distractions of modern life. During this time he re-discovered the oldest known starter-culture in curing during a field-trip to Israel, recreated ancient Roman Ham and successfully copied ancient milk cures, Celtic techniques, and many other "lost" methods. 

 

He has since been a Judge at The Organic Good Food Awards 2009/10 and has advised on various books, newspaper articles, radio presentations, TV shows, etc.

He has developed cures for national high-street chains and tiny artisans alike, designed bespoke equipment for chefs and butchers, and is seeking further challenges. 

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