5 Foodie Minutes with … Mike Keen

Every now and then we are going to hang out with some of the cool foodie folk we get to work with to find out a little bit more about what makes them tick, both on the ‘shop floor’ and in life more generally.

We call the series “5 Food Minutes with …

This week, we are getting behind the scenes with Mike Keen, an adventurous and talented chef who wow’ed Mr and Mrs Deli at a feast during The Good Life Experience. Slow roasted chickens hanging above an open log burner being basted by the moreish juices of pineapples suspended above them … every bit as inventive and lush as it sounds. We want to know more about the man behind the recipe!


Hi, who are you and what foodie mischief do you get up to in your day job?

Mike Keen (whose Twitter profile points to food demos, interesting events, teaching, campfire cooking, popups. trying to overcome incurable blind optimism)  Hmmmm – all sorts of foodie mischief. Mainly setting up The Boot in Freston, Suffolk. A fab pub project with kitchen garden, smokers, brewery …

What inspires you?

Anyone with passion for going over and above the norm.

Where in the world do you get to hang out doing your foodie thing? Can you tell us a little of what is so special to you about ‘place’?

It’s gonna be The Boot – kitchen is going in sometime in Feb, am digging garden stuff, getting sheep, learning about bees, setting up smokers and generally researching loads of food stuff. Which is fab because once it gets closer to opening I’ll be totally buried in the kitchen and wishing I had time to do other stuff.

Which 3 food (or drink) producers should the foodie world know more about?

  • Guineafowl – we have a great grower here in Suffolk – PA Mobbs & Sons in Cratfield that have the most beautiful birds.
  • Baron Bigod cheese from Fen Farm Dairy – best cheese ever (again from Suffolk) (and a massive favourite in our cheese counter, Mike! Occasionally, it arrives mature enough that the merest hint of a postcode and it’s heading home on its own!).
  • A good mountain gorgonzola – creamy, close-your-eyes-in-joy cheese. Yum.

Where was your last holiday … any ‘hidden gem’ recommendations?

Couple of years ago in Portugal.

I REALLY WANNA GO TO ICELAND! (OK, Mike … we think you’ve said that loudly enough for whoever is meant to be organising the trip to hear!)

Hidden gem – west coast of the South Island, NZ – it was pretty empty when I went (20 yrs ago!) and the landscapes were amazing.

What is your favourite meal?

A raw freshly dived scallop with sea salt.

You have £30 in your wallet/purse and an open mind about supper – where do you head to locally and what do you buy?

I head to the Suffolk Food Hall just down the road, a one stop shop for pretty much everything Suffolky, which means it has the best choice of the best stuff.

Favourite food writer?

Jeffrey Steingarten – knows what he’s on about and is funny with it (as this extract from his book ‘The Man Who Ate Everything’ bears out).

Most comforting ‘comfort food’?

Spag bol – my all time fave.

Thanks so much for spending 5 Foodie Minutes With us, Mike … we sense you love Suffolk. We are well overdue a trip to Fen Farm Dairy so we will need to come and visit The Boot at Freston when you’re up and running at Easter 2018. 


Photo Credit: Paul Williamson (from The Good Life Experience 2017 Gallery)