Now that we are in 2016 (holy moly how did that happen so fast?!) I am feeling a little reflective, a little proud even. I can look back at my many projects in 2015 and see that I really stretched myself as far as I could, though I’ll admit I missed having time to do more of my own writing on this blog. Thank you for keeping in touch via my Instagram and Twitter, I have really appreciated the feedback and encouragement!
My goals for 2016:
First – I want to write more and get back to regularly posting here!
Second – Start on my first cookbook (Yes! But no promises for publishing in 2016…or 2017)
Third – Learn to sketch.
Fourth – First pop-up.
Fingers crossed I can check all those off come January next year!
To wrap up 2015, here is what I did while I was busy not writing this blog (again, see first resolution for 2016):
I continued to work for the Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School, where I have now worked for over a year, helping to run classes and testing tons of recipes. Here I am on the team page of the website among some of the cookery teachers I most admire in London. So proud!
At Good Housekeeping I also learned more about food styling and writing for a monthly publication and other nifty things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I had quite a few articles published on their website and even had a photo of my cooking published in the magazine’s September issue, on which I worked as a styling assistant. SO MUCH FUN!
Good Housekeeping has been an amazing experience and I met the goals I set for myself from the start of working there within a year. A couple of my online articles that got the highest number of hits for food on their website that day, I learned to teach and run classes and events in a high end cooking school and I met loads of interesting people in the field that I can look forward to doing work with in the future.
In addition to my work at Good Housekeeping, I also started branching out with my own projects. Working as a freelance chef has opened up doors to fantastic opportunities. Oh have I been busy!
Most rewarding has been teaching autistic kids to trust their abilities through cooking at a special needs school. They are absolutely brilliant and it’s a joy to see the immediate reward they get from finishing a dish. I also started teaching at a snazzy school in Clerkenwell called Food at 52. I love the team there and get to teach some of my favourite cuisines – Italian, Vietnamese and South Indian.
I have also worked in corporate catering, cooking for chairmen, directors and team members of private banks and firms in the City of London. Playing with fabulous ingredients and allowing my creativity to flow has been so awesome.
One of the most exciting (and down right terrifying) opportunities I was given in 2015 was to make my first wedding cake. I’ll tell you about that soon!
In between the hard work I got to go to Amsterdam and Paris (spoiled I know!) and in both countries cheese seemed to be the centre of attention.
But their markets came close second. The fruits and vegetables on the continent are absolutely incredible.
By the way, don’t let anyone tell you that all Parisians dislike Americans again – I was eyeing up some delicious looking apples at a stall and asked the lady running the stand (in my best possible French,which is borderline OK but not great) how much it would be for one apple, as I’m so hungry I can’t wait for lunch. She smiled and said, “Thank you for trying to speak properly, have it for free.” So there you go – it does pay to try!
You know what Eleanor Rooseavelt said – “Do one thing everyday that scares you”. Well, I’ll tell you what, I spent a lot of days rolling on that mantra in 2015. What the universe passed to me in exchange was incredible! I plan to keep it up this year and I can’t wait for the adventures 2016 will bring.