A Burgess Hill man who has turned his life round after being ‘a little trouble maker’ is now hoping to inspire others.
Champion skier and masterchef Dave White used to live in Denham Road and went to Oakmeeds Community College and spent time, he says, ‘in and out of police cells.’
But since then Dave - now aged 30 - has turned his life around.
He is now an acclaimed chef and daredevil sportsman - and is currently planning to climb Mount Everest in April.
He aims to raise money for Snow Camp, a charity inspiring inner city young people to excel through skiing, snowboarding and life skills training, as well as the charity Protect Our Winters, a climate advocacy group for the winter sports community.
And, says Dave, he hopes to “give people hope for their future who are dark and struggling with life.”
He credits his own lifestyle change with living in the mountains in the ski resort of Tignes, France, for the past 11 years after completing a three-year apprenticeship as a chef.
“I absolutely loved the adrenaline of a busy kitchen then I gradually became passionate about food, the reward you gain from finishing and presenting a perfectly executed dish,” he said.
He has since appeared on the TV show Masterchef, the Professionals and has travelled the world cooking for billionaires on a string of superyachts.
He is also a professional free ride skier and won a gold medal in the 2014 British ski freestyle - and he’s also a licensed skydiver. And - despite multiple injuries - he has never given up.
Now, as he prepares for his Everest climb, Dave says: “I hope to inspire the younger generation to show them that nothing is out of your reach no matter who you are or where you’re from.”
Dave says he is looking forward to the Everest challenge.
“If I set my mind to something I will do it no matter what so I guess the only thing that does scare me is that I know I will not give up no matter what stands in my way to reaching the summit.”
And, he adds: “I can’t wait to cook food for all the Sherpas, meet new people and ask them why theiy’re climbing the highest mountain in the world.”