Food has always been my passion and one that I have fortunately been able to carve into a successful career. I started cooking for my parents and their friend's dinner parties at 14 years of age then had a stint working in a bakery com coffee shop. I decided to learn as much as I could about my favourite subject so attended a 3 year Hotel management course in Norwich.
It was during the course that I had a three month work experience at the House of Commons. Being the only female in a large team of males I was given some of the less glamorous jobs in the kitchen. It was at this stage I became vegetarian, not feeling comfortable preparing meat, animal welfare and the use of antibiotics which we in turn ingest. I was 19 years of age.
Since then I have been vegan, vegetarian, wheat free and gluten free over various stages of my life. I have now found a balance and am very happy eating no meat and very little wheat and gluten. This works for me but I would never impose my eating habits on others rather share with them the beauty and health benefits of this style of eating. To learn to enjoy what's on the plate rather than what's not.
After a year working as a chef at Cranks I became the Head Chef at Food for Thought where I remained for 27 years. I left only when the restaurant closed its doors after 40 years of business in Covent Garden. I was lucky enough to also write 3 cookery books during this time as well as run a catering business, teach, write food reviews and do some TV work.
Now I'm happy to be out of the structure of a kitchen and want to 'go it alone'. This gives me the opportunity to work my career around my two children and refocus on the aspects of cookery that I love - teaching and private catering.
I am very keen to teach children, either in a party situation or by complimenting the National curriculum by teaching hands on cookery lessons. Children are infectiously enthusiastic and love the interactive nature of cookery. So many things can be taught - nutrition, chopping techniques, how to hold a knife, weights and measures, safety in the kitchen, survival skills when leaving home, the list goes on. It's fun and starts to ignite what I hope will be a lifetimes interest in food.
A few words from my clients: