I am an internationally award-winning author and publisher who is incredibly blessed to live in one of the most remote, breathtakingly beautiful corners of this earth - the island of Tasmania in Australia!
I am also a former BBC national radio 4 journalist, writer, food stylist, amateur photographer and passionate 'foodie' and home-cook, who loves developing and experimenting with recipes to scrumptious feasts to share and enjoy with family and friends.
I was taught how to cook from a young age by my mother who was for many years a single parent holding down two jobs. Despite working long arduous hours mum insisted on cooking everything from scratch. She made her own pastry, preserves and jams. She knew her cuts of meat and pressed her own tongue and brawn. She conjured suet puddings, soups and stews from seemingly nowhere using cheap cuts of meat, offal and game. Mum would take myself and my sister Lynda foraging for blackberries in the lanes and to strawberry and blueberry farms to pick our own fruit. Mum also hand picked her vegetables at the local grocer, meat and eggs from the butcher and cheese from the local cheese factor, and this instilled in me a love of cooking. It is my happy place!
There are many chefs that have inspired me over the years and continue to inspire me, but after mum, the cook who had the biggest impact on my journey with food would have to be Delia Smith. I adore her, and am sincerely grateful to her for all that she has taught me over the years:)
What inspires me?
Food Glorious Food! When it comes to food, I am inspired by the slow food movement. I choose organic, sustainably sourced, seasonal and locally grown produce wherever possible! I also love to grow my own herbs, garlic and heirloom tomatoes!
The book ... With its temperate climate and clean air, water and nutrition rich soils, Tasmania has the perfect climate for growing tasty healthy organic garlic. Garlic Feast seemed the perfect way to celebrate our fantastic local produce, our bijou harvest festival - the Koonya Garlic Festival - the prodigious culinary talent in the region, and my love of garlic and cooking.
Garlic Feast was borne from the grassroots of a small community harvest festival: 'The Koonya Garlic Festival', and the incredible, passionate and creative community that exists here on the ruggedly wild and beautiful Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania's spectacular south east region.
The book simply would not have been possible without the generosity of the garlic community, and the gifted chefs, passionate cooks and artisan producers who generously shared recipes for the book. Neither would the book be as beautiful without the skill of the food photographers and the book's designer, Ian Wallace, who mentored and guided me through the self publishing process.
Garlic Feast is a book for garlic lovers, foodies and cooks, and all those who love big, bold and beautiful coffee table books!