Hello, I am Laura and I love cooking, I always have. It’s part of who I am and it’s what I do. I was a chef before having children and moving out of London. I became great friends with someone who shared the same interest in food as me. She is Japanese and we bonded over our love of cooking and sushi.
Then she left. Upped sticks with the husband & kids to move to Sydney, to be nearer her family. My fellow foodie pal had gone. I really missed my fellow food loving chum. Who else would be interested in hearing about what I had been up to in the kitchen? I needed to find a way of connecting with other like minded food fans and blogging seemed like a perfect way to start.
howtocookgoodfood is a blog about why it is good to cook, my food memories, some favourite recipes and seasonal food ideas.
I would like it to be my personal relationship with those who read it. I would like it to be the friend in my life, on all things culinary. Essentially I would like it to be a part of who I am, but mainly, I would like it to encourage you to love cooking.
I love growing things as much as I love cooking, so the seasons play a big part in my life. My allotment also makes me aware of exactly what is coming into season. I love late spring in particular for the elderflowers, rhubarb, rocket, spinach and asparagus, followed by the joy of all the summer stone fruits and berries moving on to pumpkins and squashes in Autumn. I would find it hard to choose one favourite ingredient but it may just have to be some freshly picked raspberries.
Having loved cooking from an early age, my first memories of cooking came from Robert Carrier in the 70s, making his classic vinaigrette to have with avocados and to dip vegetables in was my first lesson in cooking.
Keith Floyd and the Two Fat Ladies I loved and then moved into a period of following all the classic chefs whilst training at Claridges. Anton Mossiman, Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White whilst training to become a chef myself.
Moving into my freelance chef career, I became more interested in some of the leading female chefs such as Rose Grey & Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe, Sally Clarke of Clarke’s, Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and Stephanie Alexander. They remain some of my favourites to this day.
Then there are some influences from people who I think of as more cooks than chefs. Simon Hopkinson, Nigel Slater, Josceline Dimbleby, Jane Grigson, Deborah Madison and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.
At the moment I love Yotam Ottolenghi and Diana Henry and Amy Chaplin.
I have many food influences and an enormous cook book collection to go with it. I can’t stop collecting. I need help.
Anything with seafood in it. Seafood platter, risotto, pasta, salad. If I see crab, prawn, squid, scallops, mussels, razor clams on the menu, I have to order it. I love chilli. So, to combine the two, my favourite dish in the world would be The River Cafe’s chilli crab linguine.
Olives, garlic, olive oil, lemon, anchovies, gherkins, capers, Maldon salt and Fish sauce. Not many subtle flavours there, I know. But sweet wise, I love muscovado sugar, maple syrup, Speculoos and expensive chocolate. Anything made by William Curley or Rococo will be gratefully received.
I must also tell you about my love/addiction to Campari. It is my drink of drinks and there is nothing that would make me happier than a drink featuring this red bitter syrup. I love to sip it with soda…sometimes with fresh orange but better than that….in a Negroni. I think it sums up all that I love about flavours. I am a bitter and sour fan, followed by salt then sweet.
Any guilty food pleasures?
Less so than I used to have but yes, I love HP sauce. I also love Sarson’s vinegar on my chips. And pork scratchings, pork crackling, pork anything, Shake Shack Burger Sauce and Golden Wonder crisps. And pickles, don’t forget the pickles.
What am I up to?
Apart from blogging, I am now a cookery tutor working for various organisations throughout Surrey. I also host The Epsom Supper Club once a month and I cater for small events as a private chef.
If you would like to find out more about my cookery classes/supper club/hiring me as a chef please do get in touch.