Style: Homemade hearty meals sourcing the best ingredients
Cuisines: Traditional European (British, French and Italian)
Qualifications: Accredited Food Safety Supervisor and Covid 19 Infection Control Training
I have always been interested in food from the early days of sitting in the kitchen doing my homework and helping Mam cook dinner or a cake and her showing how and why things were done. I wanted to do cookery classes at school but my father wouldn't allow it as he said that was only for girls! When I was 13 my Mam had to go into hospital for a very long time and i was left to cook for my father and little brother. After several weeks of Frozen Fish Fingers, Instant Mashed Potato and Frozen Peas he reluctantly agreed that I could attend cookery classes and my love affair with food began. Coming from a working class family (North East England - I was born in Glasgow) our food was very traditional. I left home at 18 to travel with an International Ice Show (Holiday on Ice) and suddenly my life changed from Fish and Chips to eating in the cafes of Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam whilst on tour with the company. Overnight I discovered foods cooked with Herbs, Garlic and different cultures and realised that food was meant to be enjoyed with the wonderful textures and flavours, rather than just something to sustain you. The company was full of skaters from all over the world and they would take me out to restaurants of their culture and show me their traditional dishes in cities all over Europe, Russia and the Far East. We were lucky that the local backstage crews in each city we played in would tell us of good places to eat away from the tourist zones so we were able to eat the 'real food' of the country we were in at the time, and always more traditional home style cooking and cheap. To this day whenever my partner and myself travel we meet with locals online before and find out the hidden eating places of where we are going.
My cooking style is definitely a traditional European style (British, French and Italian) and now there are so many ingredients available I can put a modern twist on things. Some recipes come from old cook books I have found at markets with bits of paper inserted in between pages or pencil scribblings by recipes and I find it exciting that a previous generation were doing the same as we are now - adding their particular 'signature' to a dish that has been passed down through families and generations. My favourite chef is Rachel Khoo who ran a 2 seat restaurant from her tiny bedsit flat in Paris with a 2 burner stove. I spend hours in books shops looking through recipe books for ideas and whilst I don't follow a recipe as such, I like to get the philosophy behind it.
I absolutely love cooking as it is creative and to me therapeutic. There is nothing better than having a whole afternoon to make a simple dish such a Spaghetti Bolognese from scratch - both the pasta and the sauce, or a 4 hour Braised Beef Cheek in Sherry with cauliflower Mash and have the house filled with the aroma of herbs and spices filling the house. I use Sophia Lorens Mantra - 'the greatest act of love is to cook a meal for someone'.
I love the idea of FoodSt as I am allowed to share my food with many people and know that other passionate cooks who are part of this team are doing the same - all connected by our love of cooking and our individual and unique styles. I also love having professional mentoring to help us improve and evolve, and expand our personal and professional growth.