Whatever we choose to eat and however we choose to eat it; food is a fundamental, a social event and an act of love.
I’ve always been an indulger. I’ve always eaten larger than life portions and it’s pretty near impossible to get me to budge from the kitchen. This food affair with my belly started way back when I thought it was acceptable to dunk my face in to my bowl of homous and eat it that way. However this food affair with my hands, my mind and my utter being really began a few years back. There came a point where I was inseparable from the kitchen and where my mind was focused on the constant topic of FOOD; where will I source my food from? What will my next meal be? How did my body feel after eating that?
Over the last few years I’ve started to use food as medicine and I enjoy practicing a disciplined lifestyle when I can with what I put in to my body. To eat healthily doesn’t mean not to indulge. Whether I devour my favorite pizza that has been made with love in the backstreets of Naples and stone baked to a large crisp disc in the traditional wood fired ovens, or whether I piece together a colorful salad that always looks too big for my belly; I appreciate, I revel , and I make the most of this gift that is granted to me!
Fast forward to RIGHT NOW (June 2016) ; Things are changing. I am changing. I’ve recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and i wouldn’t look back! This conversion slowly started when I returned from New Zealand in March and more subconsciously at first. The last few months have been full of turmoil as I’ve been (and still am) battling with depression and anxiety. Thinking about it, it made perfect sense for me to turn to food and nutrition. Food was the one thing I still felt in control of and that helped me to hold on to something throughout this storm. Since returning home I’ve frequently been meeting with one of my closest friends whom has recently decided for the big V. Talking more and more to her, I realized I had a lot of homework to do and that I suddenly felt more uneasy about the meat and dairy lifestyle I’d savoured the past 24 years. Turning vegan really was an overnight decision for me. After watching Cowspiracy and Vegucated I felt a mix of utter rage and empathy, but also enthusiasm because I knew this was a big turning point in my life.
This blog will plate up a roulette of recipes. I want you to see that there is choice and wealth with what you determine to put in your body. Some of my previous recipes are not vegan friendly because I started this blog in 2015 when my lifestyle ideals were different. I am not going to scrap those blogs because they have all been part of my journey and my change.
Aside the concoction of recipes that I will share with you, I also thought it idyllic that I begin writing up some foodie reviews being the dineaholic that I am! With London being the benchmark for sensational food diversity, I want to praise a good chunk of restaurants in South of England that are completely doing it right!
Whilst I’ve been brought up around good food and spent my Saturday evening’s as an early teen pulling the beards off of polished muscles for a fishy supper, my hunger to be in the kitchen all the time began when I moved back from University. I had a new found appreciation for the authentic and grounding kitchen that I grew up around that had everything I needed; endless shelves of spices and herbs, 2 larders, pots and pans at an arms reach above my head, and a coal fired AGA that can’t be compared to.
I started to travel but my jobs all involved working in hospitality; some in kitchens and some front of house. I started to gain a greater respect for taste, hard work and influence which in turn took me on to my culinary adventure in Italy. It all came about due to my impulsive streak experiencing itchy feet in the midst of the Canadian Mountains. I knew I needed to be hands on with the food, even if just for one summer, which is what Sorrento, Italy 2014 meant for me.
I have so far learnt from some of the most valued teachers; my father, my mother, and chef Biago in Sorrento. My father enjoys trial and error most often resulting in triumph! My mother prefers to follow a recipe but makes the most mouth watering roasties. Chef Biago taught me most of what I know so far about Italian cuisine and that having big hands in the kitchen is more than a gift (he could squish a whole lemon, skin on, with one hand) !!!
One thing is for certain; cooking food whether it be for myself or for a group of people gives me this overwhelming satisfaction, joy and peace of mind. Since taken the leap of faith to a vegan based lifestyle, I have a reinforced sense of compassion for the world we life in and for my productivity and flair in the kitchen. My dream is to have my own vegan eatery where I can share my passion, individuality and signature dishes with the public folk. Where I can cook for strangers and be tested on the spot by people’s needs and personal discretion.
The one and only thing I will preach is this:
“Be your rawest self. Nothing is out of reach. You have to start somewhere”