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 have always been passionate about animal welfare, and this influences my cooking. While not a vegetarian, I try to make a lot of my cooking vegetarian, and choose vegetarian options when eating out. When cooking with meat, I support higher welfare produce. In the 21st century, with climate change and population pressure, it’s increasingly important to think carefully about the decisions we make about food. Ethically sourced ingredients and sustainability guide my cooking and eating.
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”.
I love cooking and I am always learning. I like inventing new recipes, and tweaking recipes from food gurus I admire, and friends and family. Really when you think about it, there’s not that much that’s really new out there. Developing new recipes is more about how you present ingredients with ingenuity and imagination.
Cooking is so rewarding. I’m continually learning through cooking and I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. But mostly I love cooking because it’s hugely entertaining! That’s why I relish every day that I can cook – exciting new dishes and wonderful old favourites. The more the merrier!