When Tom and Henry Herbert aren’t at the frontline of their family bakery in England’s, West Country you may see them on the television or at events represented as The Fabulous Baker Brothers. They have been bringing the ultimate Baker and Butcher combinations to the public since 2012 with a series of television shows on Channel4, More4 and TLC across Europe, Asia and the US. I’ve loved watching them through the years as they conquered the food world, and travelled the globe looking for interesting flavours….
When they were growing up Henry decided that Tom had the bread thing covered and that he wouldn’t follow his brothers path but would become a chef. Little did he know that, after a few successful years in London, that the two brothers would end up working next door to each other, Henry as the Butcher and Tom as the Baker. I caught up with them to talk about their lives in travel and their latest filming work….
You guys come from a big family and it seems you intend to carry that family tradition on. What is it you love about big families?
Tom: There’s never a dull moment. There is always something happening like things getting broken to kids going to school and they are growing up now so we get to do even more with them like camping. It’s really great.
Henry: I love a wedding and you can’t beat a big family wedding if you have a huge family like ours there are always people to talk to and even better there are more wedding opportunities.
Travelling with your family must be hard work? What’s your top tips for travelling with a large family?
Tom: Make every able person carry their own stuff. And don’t do a headcount. People soon learn if the group moves, you move too or risk being left behind.
Henry: Let the organised ones in the group work out the details, just make sure that dinner is not being over looked. It’s all about the food when I’m away.
You also travel loads for work. I loved your channel 4 show (The Fabulous Baker Brothers) but I hear your other shows abroad have been awesome and well received. Where is the most amazing place you have filmed?
Both: Taiwan for certain and definitely the deep south of the USA and they couldn’t be more different. Both brilliant in their own ways. We were really well received and our show was so much more popular than we expected. It was a really nice surprise. It’s such a shock to know how far afield people know about us, but always fun.
You recently went to Portugal to film a campaign for Four Seasons Fairways. Tell me more about this?
Tom: The resort is beautiful, you can’t want for anything. And even in the winter it’s mild enough in the Algarve to be outside in the evenings. We made the most of the delicious local ingredients with our winter BBQ campaign encouraging people to BBQ more in all seasons and to travel to Four Seasons Fairways for warmer climes and great food. On a cold dark January evening in the UK, I know where I will rather be.
Henry: We had 4 days in the blistering sun, eating the finest sea food, attempting golf and hanging out but most importantly we created a load of great BBQ recipes using local ingredients that guests can easily do whilst they are staying at the resort. The Seafood is fantastic and the Piri-Piri is oh so good… You’ll have to watch the videos to see more.
The resort, the videos and the especially the food look amazing but BBQ’ing in the winter? Are you mad?
Tom: No. For a lot of food cooking over hot coals is the bonafide best way. It’s simple for even an occasional cook, because you can see it cooking, AND getting friends together for a lush meal, what’s not to like.
Henry: Not when you are in the Algarve. Is still warm in the winter. Anyway, bbq is a form of cooking that chucks in amazing flavours to your dishes and should be enjoyed come rain or shine. Where you eat however is up to you. If it’s raining then eat inside.
Tom, I hear you recently left the family business. What are you up to now?
I’ve written a book, lots of recipe in this that work a treat on the BBQ. I am also focusing more energy on my roll as ambassador for international development charity Tearfund, where at the moment we are tackling food waste.
Henry, you seem to have done everything; been a chef in London and butcher and baker in Gloucestershire. What’s next for you?
Who knows, I try not to have a plan but follow my gut and my nose. I believe if you work hard at things and you are nice to people then doors will open. As long as I’m happy and providing for my family I don’t really mind what I do.
Given what you guys do you must always be travelling. Where to next?
Both: We are actually going back to the Four Seasons Fairways again in February to run a winter grill masterclass. Teaching people our top BBQ tips, our favourite winter grill recipes and spending a little time in the more milder temperatures.
I ask everyone this but who are both of your ultimate travel partners?
Tom: My wife Anna.
Henry: My wife Jess