My philosophy is simple. The table of plenty, the shared plate, food in abundance representing generosity, family and friendship. My cooking style (and preferred style of dining) is rustic.
I proclaim unashamedly that my all time food hero is JamIe Oliver (http://www.jamieoliver.com). I watched his first television program The Naked Chef in the 90s and loved it; and have subsequently devoured all his other programs and cookbooks. His Italian rustic style derived from the cooking style of Ruth Rodgers and Rose Gray of The River Cafe in London, (http://www.rivercafe.co.uk) seems a sensible, practical as well as utterly delicious way of cooking. Although I am sure many others would not have fared as well I have, I have never had any disasters following Jamie’s recipes. They are clearly and accurately written.
I have a huge collection of cookbooks from the classic to the contemporary, and have drawn so much knowledge from them. I have been influenced by so many different writers. The most important influence, as with so many other people, is that of my family – I come from a family of great cooks. “We are what we eat ” could be paraphrased to “we are what we have cooked” or “what we have had cooked for us”.