ABOUT OUR CHEF
IT ALL STARTED WITH A SIMPLE BOWL OF PASTA, DECORATED WITH TORN BASIL LEAVES AND STRATEGICALLY DOLLOPED PASTA SAUCE
Hello and welcome to Always Cook on the Bright Side. Thanks for joining me, Mia, Always Cook’s resident chef!
You should probably know that I’m 24, I hate parsnips and I once hid a famous wildlife presenter in my wardrobe (please get in touch for additional context). I went pescatarian about 3 years ago now and have since cut out dairy and meat.
Each week I host cooking classes which you may or may not want to come to. I will say, that if you don’t come I’ll be eating on Zoom by myself, with my housemate in the other room typing out instructions for absolutely no one. Just bare that in mind, please.
BG (BEFORE GOUSTO), AND I MEAN NO OFFENCE BY THIS, MY PARENTS WERE NOT THE BEST COOKS
My dad's first and last foray into the kitchen was when Mum was away and he whipped up a roast dinner soup, blending all the left overs from Sunday's roast and shoving them into a bowl - roast chicken, potatoes and all.
Mum's go-to dish was a chicken stew consisting of chicken, potatoes and peas in Heinz 'Cream of Tomato' soup. I'm not going to criticise it, because it was delicious and I will be making it for my children/dogs/friends when I grow up.
I have a lot to thank my parents for. You could say that their cooking is what led me into the kitchen. And I never left.
I REMEMBER, I WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLD AND 4 SERIES DEEP INTO MASTERCHEF
For dinner I made my parents a bowl of pasta with some tomato sauce. In my eyes it was something special. It took me about 15 minutes to arrange the basil leaves in the pockets of (now cold) tomato sauce. That's when I learn that I could put my own spin on things.
Yes, even pasta.
Turns out my parents had already eaten so that wasn't the moment I started sharing my creations with others....
COOKING IS AN ESCAPE FOR ME. IT'S MINDFUL AND MESSY AND CREATIVE
I'm now watching my 15th series of Masterchef and have poked my finger into many foodie pies since that first bowl of pasta....I've worked with street food vendors, Masterchef finalists, cooked feasts on fire pits and camping stoves, and catered many dinner parties for family and friends.
I might not be able to cook a great roast (YET) but what I can do is cook creatively - without a recipe book, just a teaspoon for tasting and a whole host of stellar ingredients.
When I cook, I grab fistfuls of salt, pepper and spices, I get my hands dirty and rarely use a timer. For a child who only ever coloured inside the lines, I would say that's pretty good going.