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There is no question that cooking and a love of food, the sights, the sounds and the smells from a bustling kitchen all stem from an early memory, perhaps as far back as our childhood. Whether it was the warmth and comfort from a grandmother’s kitchen, that intoxicating smell of freshly baked bread straight from the bakers oven, or the sizzling sounds of sharp onion rings hitting a hot pan, it crept under our skin, started a fire in our souls and created a yearning in our hearts, that was here to stay forever.

My first memories came from my grandmother’s kitchen on our farm: Cold stone floors, dark rooms, a fire blazing in the hearth and a white and caramel stoneware mixing bowl with a soft bumpy pattern on it – which I will never forget until the day I die. My grandmother, who lived on a farm in the back of beyond so far behind their modern times it was frightening, thought it was a certain sacrilege to use instant yeast or to peel a potato’s skin too thick – you needed to be able to see through it.

I find something very soothing about cooking and preparing a meal at the end of a busy day. The kids are generally packing away their homework or at least out of my hair for that small time, and having a glass of wine and the radio on in the background, is a simple luxury I look forward to.

I love to experiment with different flavours, and living in a small farming town where what you want is not always available, you have to get creative or you will end up living on bread and jam. Fresh herbs and vegetables that come out of my garden, fish cooked on an open fire, the sun setting its pink tablecloth on the mountains and the ice melting in my wine – it just doesn’t get better than that.