Cooking has given me some of the most incredible opportunities. It has enabled me to experience the most amazing things, visit and live in the most beautiful places and meet some exceptional people!
Having trained as a chef at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland under the watchful eye of Darina Allen, I started my career in London, but I soon got tired of the monotonous menus served by the underpaid staff at the big boring restaurant corporations. I took it upon myself to make life more interesting and so a friend and I packed up and went to the French Alps! We worked in a chalet together, I as the chef and he as the host and it was one of the best decisions ever!! I loved my job and the freedom I had having my own kitchen and creating my own menus. Waking up in the Alps everyday with the freedom to ski and working in a job with people I loved provided me with skills for life and little did I know this was just a stepping stone.
It was after this that I got the travel bug and I went on to complete two more winter seasons in the mountains!!
The summer after my second ski season I was offered a job as a chef/stewardess on a privately owned 76ft classic sailing yacht which was travelling round the Mediterranean for the Summer. Despite feeling nervous and having doubt in my ability I stuck to the basis of keeping life interesting and I went for it!
IT WAS INCREDIBLE. We weren’t the biggest but we were mighty and we sailed beautifully! We were a crew of three, me and the boys, Captain Tom who was a kind and caring young Brit and a hilarious Catalonian hippy called Andreau. The Three Musketeers were family as well as crew! As you can imagine, cooking and sailing don’t always go hand in hand and we experienced many an entertaining moment when Tom would yell down the hatch ‘Tack!’ or ‘Jibe!’ but too little too late, the galley and myself were covered in chocolate pudding… People say you will never work a day in your life if you love what you do and I couldn’t agree more. During the evenings I would fall asleep to the gentle rocking motion of the boat and in the mornings I would poke my head out of the hatch and be greeted by warm sunshine, a refreshing sea breeze and occasionally a new country!
I now work on a much bigger yacht with a bigger crew who again have become my extended family! We’re a crew of Brits, South Africans and an Aussie, an awesome crew whom I’m so fortunate to have! This is my fifth season onboard this particular superyacht and having such a great bunch onboard means that they are very happy to play guinea pig for me and have me try out recipes which I and they may not be familiar with. It’s great practise for me, enabling me to get creative, be ambitious and add to my recipe collection!
Working in this industry has taught me to cook in some of the most challenging situations. Storage can be difficult whilst at sea as well as having fresh produce during a passage. You’ll notice a lot of my recipes are done using tablespoons or teaspoons for measurements because scales simply do not measure correctly when there’s motion in the ocean! Throughout this process I’ve learnt that cooking does not have to be complicated or fiddly in order to taste delicious and look presentable. This website is here for me to share with you some of my most simple yet effective culinary creations and to encourage you to try them! I really hope you enjoy your time getting creative in the kitchen and remember, a recipe is always better with ones own twist on it so don’t be afraid to add spice if you want things hot or a little sugar if you prefer it sweet. Make these recipes your own and have fun with them!