- Writing, cooking, drawing -
For as long as I can remember, I've been pottering around a kitchen. I spent a happy childhood chopping, stirring and sous-cheffing alongside my lovely mum and if we weren't cooking food, we were talking about it. Perhaps it's because of this constant culinary chatter that food for me became so much more than feeding away hunger. Food and cooking are something I use as both a form of therapy and to hang my memories on. And as I've moved through the years, I've come to believe that cooking good food really can help us navigate the ups and downs of life. I lived this truth when Mum died ten years ago, less than a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My relationship with food changed dramatically and my appetite all but disappeared. To eat the food Mum taught me to cook was to remind me of all that was missing (which was, of course, her!). In the aftermath of her death we survived off beige fodder, eaten late, without joy and with an empty seat at the kitchen table.
It wasn't until I went travelling and off to university in Edinburgh that I slowly found my way back into a kitchen, cooking the recipes of my childhood and creating my own along the way. I even set up a blog, The Hungry Romantic, as a place to write and hoard my recipes. It was the beginning of a pivotal shift for me; I discovered that it was through the act of cooking that I could stay connected to Mum. I don't think I ever feel closer to her than when I'm sautéing onions, preparing one of her go-to favourites - with a glass of wine in hand and the radio chattering in the background. But, more than that, Mum taught me that food is something to be celebrated, enjoyed, savoured and also used to our advantage - whether that's to comfort us when we feel low or to bring friends together over a bloody good supper. My role as Food & Travel Editor for Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine means I now get to cook, write and talk about food for a living (what joy!). I also write and illustrate freelance on the side, as well as being Editor of BEAST – an independent East London print magazine. You can find me on often on Instagram and less often on Twitter, and you can also sign up for my not-yet-in-existence newsletter here, where I plan to talk about all the big juicy stuff in life like love and loss, as well as interviewing interesting humans on food and feelings and everything in-between. Expect illustrations, quotes, poems and recommendations for books, podcasts and restaurants too.
If you're interested in working with me or just want to say hi please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy cooking and eating!