Who am I?
The voracious (and often outspoken) food creator, taster, photographer and critic. I graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Classics, hence the name Culina (meaning kitchen in Latin).
Who are you?
(Not so) secretly greedy?
In need of some indulgence?
I have always had the desire to see behind the scenes, to peel back the glamour to understand the grit behind. From an early age I have been peering into kitchens to observe the flames, and organised turbulence, the energy behind the creativity on the plate. I want to celebrate foods, not avoid them. I want to use real ingredients, not chemicals in capsules. This is a fad-free zone.
Have you had any professional training?
Work experience and training in the kitchens of London’s Le Caprice and Villandry and soon the pastry kitchen of Jason Atherton’s Little Social have brought a greater understanding of the industry, its controlled frenzy, the adrenaline, and tricks of the trade. I aim to bring that experience into the dishes I create and the insight into the restaurants I review.
I like food that is crisp, chewy, sweet, sour, salty, astringent, tangy, smoky, umami, colourful, contrasting and palate tingling (not necessarily all at once). My style is bold, vibrant, outspoken and sumptuous, from the recipes I create to the meals I devour. I also have a tongue so sharp it could julienne carrots.
Is that all?
I paint portraits of wrinkly old women (with the odd exception).
I am also a singer – and often do so while cooking. I was a choral scholar at Cambridge & have sung alongside Bastille, Public Service Broadcasting, Imogen Heap, Amber Run & Andrea Bocelli. I also sing with Mediaeval Baebes, & London Contemporary Voices, & create my own music. Have a listen: