Ian Dowding

Location: Herstmonceux East Sussex
About The Speaker...

Most of my life I have been cooking in restaurant kitchens and for a period owning one of them. In 1972 I was partly responsible for the creation of a dessert called Banoffi Pie. By a process that was mainly serendipity this became popular around the UK and eventually world famous.

In 2000 I became a freelance chef offering my skills and services where required. This led to some surprisingly varied jobs. A lot of it was teaching but I was also hired to cook for a reality TV programme called Regency House Party – a sort of Big Brother in corsets. More TV work followed including a request for 780kg of an iron ration called pemmican for a polar expedition.

I have done demonstrations at food festivals, taken part in The Kitchen Cabinet with Jay Rayner for Radio 4, created food for magazine photography and given a talk on taste for the testing panel of a major food company. I have written articles for The Restaurant Business, The Guardian, The Oldie and Aspect County.

About Their Talks...

I have a deep interest not only in the cooking of food but in its history, science, folklore and social influence. My talks are full of interesting facts, fascinating detail and amusing anecdotes.

Talk 1: Banoffi Pie and other Adventures.

Talk 2: Turn Back Time – cooking historic food for TV


The charge is £95 within a twenty mile radius of Hailsham East Sussex. Further than this is charged at cost.

My Contact Details:

0781 067 5061

Banoffi Pie and Other Adventures

The talk describes the early part of my career as a chef in the restaurant business, my early influences and how I created the dessert that was to become world famous. Also the serendipity of how the fame spread and became a favourite of the Royal Family and other famous people and how the word (whichever way it was spelt – Banoffi or Banoffee) eventually made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Turn Back Time - cooking historic food for TV

This talk describes my career as a freelance chef; of how I was selected for the job of cooking Regency food for a programme called Regency House Party – a sort of Big Brother in corsets, the crash course I went on with Ivan Day to to learn how food was served in the 18th Century, the ten weeks of cooking Regency banquets every night and how people coped with being separated from their 21st Century lives. Following that I relate how I was offered other similar jobs cooking historic food for TV programmes culminating with a request to make 780 kilos of an iron ration called pemmican that was eventually used for a televised polar expedition.

The Pheasants are Revolting

After nearly fifty years in the restaurant business and having been a chef/proprietor for many of those years I have seen, heard and experienced every angle of the trade from culinary disasters, manic chefs, unscrupulous bosses, badly behaved celebrities and of course the wonderful, frustrating, demanding, awkward, charming and necessary customers.
This talk celebrates the ups and downs of a fascinating life serving the public.



Testimonials & Reviews

“Excellent speaker. We had the talk Banoffi Pie and Other Adventures. Ian gave us an interesting talk on his career in the restaurant business and his creation of Banoffi pie.

Will definitely be inviting him back for one of his other talks.”

Angie  – October 2023





Ian Dowding Contact Details:

0781 067 5061

Send a message to Ian Dowding