Alex Glen talks about her love of art, her event catering company Jacks Kitchen in the Hot 20 Questions and how she juggles motherhood, running a business and teaching Fine Art full time.
JK Best thing about living in Cheltenham?
AG I’m used to being spoilt for great food in London and I haven’t felt like that since we moved to Cheltenham over a year ago. There are some great places to eat and I would like to see more independent pop ups like Koj becoming a feature, with the likes of Le Champignon Sauvage, East India Cafe, The White Spoon, Kibousushi, 188 Bar & Wok (to name but a few) there is something to suit every pallet. I love popping to the lower high street to get all our Asian produce too.
JK If you had to be locked in a building in the Cotswolds overnight, which would it be?
AG It would have to be Deya Brewery haha I love their craft beer and open taps on a Fri night. https://deyabrewing.com
JK How do you juggle motherhood, running a business and working full time?
AG Coffee, lots. I really don’t know the rest it’s a blur. My students keep me sweet and bring me cake and biscuits!
JK Fave Artist?
AG Rebecca Horn.
JK Greatest Indulgence?
JK Biggest extravagance?
AG Holidays. We try to get to South East Asia once a year and I adore Italy. When the IVF worked and I fell pregnant with Jack first thing we did was book a flight to Florence, another corner of the boot we hadn’t been to. We’ll be flying back to Naples soon for a 2 night pizza extravagance. Di wants to get better at making pizzas for when our pizza oven ‘Rita’ arrives. She’s a perfectionist.
JK Rich or healthy Alex?
JK What’s on your bucket list?
AG Seeing more of South East Asia, not been to Vietnam or Laos yet! Oh and Japan. When I’m 80 I might jump out of a plane (with a parachute obvs!) because who cares when your 80.
JK Guest list for ideal dinner party?
AG Johanna Lumley, Keith Richards, Melissa McCarthy, Helen Mirren, David Bowie and in the open-plan kitchen; Elena Arzak and Dominique Cren. Perfection right there.
JK Best Jacks Kitchen event to date?
AG Be rude not to say The Rolling Stones Management!
JK Your favourite Jacks Kitchen dish?
AG Oh that’s not fair! I’d have to say Di’s Chocolate Fondant in any shape or form!
JK 3 Foods you couldn’t live without?
AG Fresh seafood, greens and steamed jasmine rice.
JK Tell us something that people don’t know about you?
AG Now this will make you laugh! I moved to London after my BA Fine Art to do my PG Dip and Masters at Chelsea Arts. To pay my rent I joined the London Fire Brigade and became a fire fighter. It was the norm to finish a night shift and cycle straight to university stinking of smoke! 10 years I did that for and I certainly paid my dues.
JK Favourite Gallery?
AG I think I would say the Hayward Gallery, London. The building is cast concrete, it’s unapologetically brutal. In my favourite place, the South Bank. We have just a great exhibition on at our local Wilson Gallery #theorderofthings with some great work from Andrew Bick and Jonathan Parsons.
JK Favourite work of Art?
AG Pieta, Michellangelo, St Peters, Vatican.
JK 3 items you couldn’t live without?
AG Drawing paper, pen and good coffee.
JK Greatest achievement?
AG Our son Jack who is extremely funny! As I write this he is 3 years old and has told us everyday since he could scramble words together that he wants to be a doctor of animals! Cute.
JK Best dish you have eaten this year?
AG Ohh Di’s Beef Wellington everytime. You could cut the meat with a spoon. We source our meat wisely; our beef comes from our local farmers at https://www.todenhammanorfarm.co.uk
JK Favourite tweeter?
AG I have to admit I like tweets that make me laugh like @classicalArtMeme and @_Retailfail and I’m loving our local ones @cheltproblems and @GlosMagician.
JK Any hopes and exciting plans for the future?
AG Apart from our son growing up happy. I have started my PHD and pushing boundaries on the digital media front within fine art. I’d like Jacks Kitchen to continue to thrive. Our 1.2 metre Wood Fired Oven Rita will be built soon so we can fire her up and offer something different for large parties, wedding food, food & drink fests and pop ups. I’d love my own studio space at home one day; I’ll have my messy side for ceramics and sculpture and my clean side for projection mapping and digital.