Mazda3 MPS is a feast of fun for Hertford House chef

PUBLISHED: 12:48 11 August 2010 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 February 2013

Julian Ward with the Mazda3 MPS

Julian Ward with the Mazda3 MPS

Hertford House Hotel head chef, Julian Ward, tests the new Mazda3 MPS

Tell us about yourself and what you do
I am head chef at the Hertford House Hotel, a 300 year-old Georgian style building in the centre of the historic county town of Hertford. The building has recently been re-furbished and combines a modern, stylish ambiance with its traditional townhouse style. I live in Northolt, in West London, and trained as a chef in the Savoy and at Quo Vadis from the age of 15. I also worked for Andrew Turner, Marco Pierre-White, Tim Tolly and Gordon Ramsay at the Claridges Hotel. We plan to grow the business and open other hotels and restaurants in the surrounding area.

How much do you enjoy motoring?
I love driving as much as my cooking. I must do, as I drive nearly 100 miles a day. I love cars, too, and my favourite is the Porsche 911, a real sports car. But I'd like a Bentley Continental if I could afford one. There must be petrol in my blood as I toured as a chef with the former Jaguar Formula 1 team and prepared meals for the team, their crew and special high-energy carbohydrate diets for the drivers.

What do you drive and what would your dream car be?

My first car was a Mini Clubman, which cost me just 50. It was a fun car and I wish I'd kept it. I've also had an old Ford Capri, which was sprayed light blue. I now drive a BMW 323i which I like very much as it is solidly built and a good drive. Dream car? Definitely the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

So, how would a Mazda3 MPS suit your lifestyle?
It looks good and it's well equipped with standard climate control, cruise control, part-leather sports seats, a good audio system and has electric everything. There's a slick six-speed gearbox, 18-inch alloy wheels and excellent brakes and safety-related items like traction control and powerful anti-lock brakes. The instruments look good, especially the red graphics, and it all feels well made to me. It would be fine for me driving in the City but, if I'm honest, it probably wouldn't have quite enough space with my wife and three children on board.

How does the Mazda3 drive?
The engine has loads of power, sounds purposeful and is very drivable at normal road speeds. This car makes you want to put your foot down and would be my ideal car if I were 19 again. It definitely makes me feel like a boy racer. My wife would enjoy this car too. Perhaps there's a little bit too much power for me, but the traction control should keep this car pointing in the right direction.

So, how do you rate the Mazda3?
Mazda has tried hard with the Mazda3 MPS and if they had kept the engine as it is, added four wheel-drive and made the interior a little more 'boy racer' then I am sure this would be a world-beater.

Article taken from June issue of Hertfordshire Life

Latest from the Hertfordshire Life