I grew up in a beautiful area of West Dorset. As one in a family of six, home cooked and home grown food surrounded me from a very young age. After meal times, to us, meant picking time and I have very fond memories of picking everything from gooseberries to asparagus. I’d regularly be sent into the garden to get ‘ten chives’ or ‘two handfuls of sage’, so I always knew what my food looked like and where it came from. Meat and eggs would often come from our friends who farmed up the road and additional vegetables from a local organic box.
This fortunate outlook meant I had an appreciation of good food from the start. I was never interested in fizzy drinks or junk food, I’d tasted real food and it was no comparison!
I was always eager to learn and help with the cooking at home. I took great pleasure in looking through recipe books and started experimenting with flavours early on, never being one to follow recipes.
Eventually my food journey took me outdoors and as I travelled to new locations and found myself in different situations, the food I ate adapted too. In many cases I found myself preparing food in vans, in the wilderness and by campfire. Being in the outdoors meant my interest in foraging only continued to grow, having eaten my first stinging nettle aged 8! I’ve also been lucky enough to sample many culinary delights from Amazonian River piranha in Ecuador, to sweet and delicately spiced street food in the backstreets of Xian, China.
As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I am very aware of the effects that the foods I eat are having on the planet around me as well as the effects they can have on my body and performance. These concerns are strongly reflected in the way I cook and source ingredients.
My love of the outdoors has brought me to the English Lake District where I am working on my own kitchen garden, foraging to my heart's content, climbing the odd mountain or two and baking for Ripe.