If I split my life in to 3 portions my first would be the suffolk slice growing up on bananas and bread like a half duck half Chimp creature. When a young “Duckimp” I discovering America via Laker and fell in love with fast food, the excitement of the speed, the drive in, the french fry, the unwrapping paper and stuffing in thin little burgers, flicking out the gherkin, burning my lip on hot molten apple puree – the convenience, the hype it was just so new and cool. Then came the microwave where you could boil a cup of coffee in 3 minutes!!, you could NOOUCK a jacket to soggy grossness in 5 minutes and you could turn a frozen Birdseye mince lamb steak cutlet into a half rubbery half rigamortis dry fibrous mess in 10 minutes – it was inspirational, incredibly fulfilling and not at all annoying that the food tasted totally crappy. Then I entered catering college.
Then the second slice of cake came in London with my time as a chef, also taking time to complete a Patisserie course at Westminster college and eventually end my London shift at Leith’s Management bossing other chefs around or cooking cool stuff in Directors dinning rooms. Fast food didn’t exist to me – it was something I grew to loath. I eat for free at work for both breakfast and lunch enjoying a whole host of new and exciting foods. At weekends I explored the London restaurant scene – spending my wages on Bibendum’s, Jasper Conran’s, Aubergines with a young Gordon Ramsey, Marco’s on the park, Gary Rhodes Green Room amongst modern twists on foods from all over the world in different cafes tucked away all over London. Food became my life. Every new place that got even a whisper in the Time Out food guide – I was there with my now hubby tucking in to something new and exciting.
My present piece of life is in Norfolk – I turned my back on bosses and escaped to the country with but one aim – to teach cookery. Now I run Lodge Farm Kitchen – Cookery Courses, I’m a food guide at Love Norwich Food food and drink walking tours, I’m the resident chef on www.cookeryclub.co.uk and write recipes when ever I can. Food is in my heart – I’ve been fascinated over the years of all the new fast food chains popping up usually first in London and then hopefully eventually in Norwich.
Fast Food has become ‘slower fast food’ with chains like Leon offering slow cooked Moroccan delights, tender meatballs in tasty rice, tasty tangy fresher than fresh salads and truffled eggs for breakfast – its inspirational. It’s how things should be done – fresh food, cooked well, in an efficient way so the public can grab and really enjoy something delicious. Eat’s been around for a while and offers all the usuals in a fast food setting, while Wasabi and Itsu offer Asian delights in speed and yumminess. I love the new Pure Salad cafes that are popping up every where in London where you can feast on body food and sip freshly blended juices. Shake Shack offers real American diner food how it should be experienced – still in its little paper wrapper but cooked fresh and juicy using local produce and a bakery bun. While five Guys offers flame grilled juiciness with tons of toppings – no freezers says the banner. Sustainable ethical fast food joints like Pret really make a mark on the high street, where you’ll never get yesterdays left overs.
Food Rules – RULE. It’s all about the taste and not the profit, its all about the quality of not only the ingredients but the staff that are serving it – it’s just how it should be – food that gets you excited, food you can’t wait to eat and food you don’t have to wait long for. Proper chefs cooking proper food that tastes GOOD – I’m Loving it!