Welcome to John Dixon's website
In 2010 John was awarded the inaugural Isle of Man ‘I Love Manx’ chef of the year competition trophy. The competition is run by the Isle of Man Government with a view to promoting local produce as well as talent. The competition involved a diverse range of competitors from around the Isle of Man and John’s dish, together with his passion for using Manx ingredients, only his salt and pepper were from outside the Island, came to the fore to be named the winner.
The win came as no surprise to those who have eaten at Harbour Lights Ramsey, where John has been employed as Head Chef since 2008. Under John’s direction, Harbour Lights Ramsey have gained Highest Quality Assured Taste Awards, Harvest Awards and Best Eating Out Experience awarded by the Department of Tourism for the quality of food and use of Manx produce, together with the quality of service received.
In 2011 John was invited to take part in the inaugural ‘Celtic Cook Off’ as part of the Taste of West Cork Food Festival, which started 2004 and has been going from to strength ever since. There was stiff competition from the other chefs from the Celtic territories of Ireland, Scotland Wales, Cornwall and Brittany, and although John didn’t win on this occasion, he certainly held his own competing against Michelin-starred and international competing chefs.
Again John’s passion for cooking, especially with local produce shone through, even his seasoning on this occasion was local – the salt having been obtained from evaporating sea water from the local bay and the peppery taste coming from dulse seaweed picked on the same trip! As a result of John’s enthusiasm he was asked to return to West Cork again in 2012, this time to do demonstrations at the farmers’ market and specialist nights in local restaurants.
2012 also saw John cooking for John Craven and Julia Bradbury on BBC television’s Countryfile programme, where under difficult conditions he did a tasty dish with locally grown mushrooms and locally caught queenies.
John’s culinary career began by accident when serving for the Royal Navy with the NATO peace keeping task force off the coast of Bosnia. John took part, as a bit of light relief, in a non-chefs cookery competition that was held on board ship. After winning the competition, he was approached by the ship’s Captain and encouraged to take a place on the naval chef’s course, and he hasn’t looked back since.
John left the Navy in 1998 since which time he has worked in a range of different kitchens both on the Isle of Man and in Australia, all of which have added to his wealth of knowledge and skill. John has had experience of working in a wide variety of large and small kitchens which have included specialising in vegetarian, Spanish and Italian fare.
It was in 2000 that John and his future wife went to Australia to live and work on a twelve month visa. It was here that one of John’s other passions came to light – his love of Mambo Loud Shirts!
Since returning to the Island in 2001, John has built a strong relationship with his local suppliers and producers and is passionate about using the freshest and best quality ingredients he can find.
John lives in Ramsey with his wife, daughter, dog and fish and in his spare time, when he’s not baking, can be found in his workshop where he likes to unwind turning or sculpting wood and doing small engineering projects. If time ever allows, restoring a 1967 Austin Mini Countryman and small frame Vespa await.