TV chef call pan-tastic for Cookley business

Kidderminster Shuttle: Big Pan Man: Mark Renn with one of his giant woks hired by TV celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Picture: Phil Loach. Big Pan Man: Mark Renn with one of his giant woks hired by TV celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Picture: Phil Loach.

A BUSINESSMAN in Cookley is wok-ing on sunshine after receiving an order for one of his giant pans from a celebrity television chef.

Mark Renn, known in the village as the Big Pan Man - the name of his catering business - has supplied a wok to Heston Blumenthal to cook a large poppadom in an upcoming episode of his Channel 4 show, Heston's Great British Food.

Producers Betty did not reveal when the Cookley pan was due to appear on the show or in which episode but Mr Renn said it would air in about three months' time.

The 61-year-old, of Shrubbery Hill, said he was contacted by the London-based production company representing Mr Blumenthal, who wanted to order the wok as he needed something that could be heated up to about 160 degrees C to make the poppadom and they sent a courier to pick it up.

"I have no idea how he found me - he must have found me on the internet," said Mr Renn. "It is not every day something like this happens. I am a very big fan of Heston's and was very happy to help and it is a shot in the arm that you have been recognised."

Mr Renn, who is also an artist and sculptor, started the business, which loans out catering equipment, five years ago as something to do "on the side" and runs it with his wife Anna, who is the company secretary and "official washer upper".

He added: "It is certainly interesting that Heston wants to borrow one of my big pans. It will be on TV in about three months and it is going to be nice if I can see it and if they credit me"

A spokesman for Channel 4 said: "The team behind Heston’s Great British Food borrowed the wok for a show that will air later this year."

The show looks at the stories and origins of British food, including its history and evolution.

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