For as long as I can remember – probably the age of 8 or so – my twin brother and I would help my mother out in the kitchen. She would involve us in making cakes and home baking, or just weighing things out – we were always on hand to help to lick out the occasional sticky raw cake mix that was left in the bottom of the bowl! I have a very real memory of her making milk bread. Sometimes I think it was just a dream as the smell was so incredible.
Living in Norfolk we had a large back garden where we grew a lot of our own fruit and vegetables; so from an early age I understood a little about seasonality and that great produce does not grow all year around, but is very much predicted by the weather and season. We grew lots of soft fruits (strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries) for making jam although most often we wanted to see how much my twin and I could stuff into our faces without my mother seeing.
There was a lot of toing and froing from the garden to the kitchen and back. I loved digging in the garden for fresh vegetables and seeing things grow and come to life, it was a very blissful time. What could be nicer than eating a new crop of baby potatoes with a little fresh mint? Understanding these simple tastes was the start of my journey into the kitchen.
Food is my life and my first true love. It has given me more than I could ever imagine. I have met so many amazing people and I feel truly blessed and thankful for these moments and occasions that are built around food. This is the special thing that great food connects all, it holds us together and gives us amazing unique experiences on every level.