Wednesday, 16 January 2019


MILL and BREW has fast become one of the favourite spots on the Broadway for coffee and food.  With its rustic styled interior, excellent coffee and quality food at great prices who can resist going in when in the area ?   To add to this at the beginning of the year a story broke in the mainstream press - Evening Standard - about great work that the Mill & Brew Head Chef Aidan is doing to help an  ex Serviceman.  We are proud to have Mill & Brew and Aiden on the Broadway and if you have not yet visited then you must !!


One of Jamie Oliver’s protegés from the famous ‘15’ programme has learned more from his famous mentor than cooking. Aidan Mannion, recently voted one of the UK’s top chefs under 21, is a man on a mission to restart the career of a former serviceman. Aidan, who is head chef at Mill and Brew in Mill Hill, has embraced Jamie’s generosity of spirit and is paying it forward in spades.  

Aidan came across a food blog written by Pete Hobbs (32), an ex-Royal Engineer who was badly injured, nearly died from sepsis and still suffers from serious PTSD.

Like so many veterans, Pete has struggled to reintegrate into civilian society, despite being massively helped by the Back on Track Charity, set up to offer wounded veterans medical and emotional support. As a keen foodie, one of Pete’s many strategies to give his life new purpose has been to post restaurant reviews online. Aidan took a keen interest in Pete’s posts and reached out to him, inviting him up to London. 
Aidan not only welcomed the veteran with open arms, he offered a culinary apprenticeship, which started a few days ago and a firm friendship has now been forged over the pasta.
Pete commented that: “I feel my life is taking a turn for the better. I have always been interested in cooking and now I have managed to make some awesome pasta and a truly next-level ravioli”.
With a window into the restaurant industry, Pete has now experienced genuine hope for his future. After years of being borderline homeless, Pete’s confidence was rock bottom and his default setting was despair. “I can’t thank Aidan enough”, he says, “the guy is a legend”.
Aidan remains typically modest, commenting that “Pete is a natural chef. He loves food and totally understands how to take care over every aspect of preparation. He was a joy to teach and I am so proud of him”. Aidan is now talking to the owner of Mill & Brew to set Pete up with an apprenticeship in the industry.

Aidan has turned the Mill & Brew kitchen into a focus for foodies from far and wide, catering for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. 

Paul has been waiting for some time for his life to turn around. Destitute and unemployed, he has been shuttled from pillar to post since he left the forces. Having nearly died from sepsis, Pete has also battled debilitating bouts of PTSD. Blogging about his passion for food has been the only thing, apart from his cats, which has kept him centred and it was through this glimpse of his ability that Aidan sensed a kindred spirit.

As Paul comments: “It’s just mental and I am super thankful”. 

The story made the Evening Standard last week and has created much interest in Mill and Brew which has become one of the most popular places on the Broadway since opening.  Do go and check it out. The food is fantastic.

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